“The Griots of Oakland” Exhibit to Visit Local Schools

Eric Nobles, a senior at Dewey Academy in Oakland, was one of five teen-agers selected to be storytellers for the

Eric Nobles, a senior at Dewey Academy in Oakland, was one of five teen-agers selected to be storytellers for the "Griots of Oakland" project. Photo courtesy of Oakland North.

A traveling version of the popular exhibit, The Griots of Oakland – Voices from the African American Oral History Project, will be shown at McClymonds Youth & Family Center (Alternatives in Action), Alliance Academy and Elmhurst Middle School.

Each of the schools will host the exhibit at different times for the remainder of February to celebrate Black History Month. The main exhibit is currently on display at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland through March 1.

The exhibit and book are the first project of its kind where over the course of a year a group of African American male youth were trained in oral history methodologies and videography to conduct peer-to-peer interviews with about 100 African American boys and men aged 6-24 throughout Oakland.

The goal of the project is to highlight aspects of these young men’s realities that are often misunderstood and ignored by mainstream media, and to change the discourse on how they are perceived to uplift their beauty, brilliance, and humanity.

“Having this exhibit at our youth center will enable us to tell the stories of Black people in the United States. It’s a powerful and reinforcing project that instills a lot of pride in our students,” said Kharyshi Wiginton, Youth Leadership and Administrative Coordinator at McClymonds.

 

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