You do not have JavaScript enabled. Please be warned that certain features of this site will not be available to you without JavaScript.
Contribute Your MemoryThe Sankofa represents the importance of learning from the past
Tell us your story or share a family photograph.
—Learn more about the NMAAHC Memory Book
Carole Bebelle and Jerome Smith
Carole Bebelle and Jerome Smith

StoryCorps Griot

The StoryCorps Griot Project is a year-long initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) to gather and preserve the life stories of African American families.

The StoryCorps Griot Initiative will help ensure that the voices, experiences and life stories of African Americans will be preserved and presented with dignity. It also builds bonds between citizens and broadcast media by celebrating our shared humanity and collective identity.

StoryCorps Griot builds on the success of StoryCorps, created in 2003 by award-winning radio documentary producer and MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay. For the Griot Initiative, a StoryCorps MobileBooth — a mobile recording studio — will make stops of up to six weeks in: Atlanta; Newark; Detroit; Chicago; Oakland; Clarksdale, MS; Memphis; Selma and Montgomery. Griot will partner with local public radio stations, historically black colleges and universities and other cultural institutions and membership organizations to record and distribute the stories of African American families.

At the Griot StoryBooth, participants record their stories in pairs — oftentimes friends or loved ones — where one person interviews the other. A trained facilitator guides the participants through the interview process and handles the technical aspects of the recording. At the end of a forty-minute session, the participants are presented with a CD of their interview. The unprecedented effort to capture the recordings of African Americans will help ensure that their voices, experiences and life stories will be preserved and presented with dignity. The stories will be archived for future generations at the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress and at the NMAAHC.