Friday, February 23, 2018

An African Storytelling Event in Red Wing, Minnesota

On February 17, I went to Red Wing, Minnesota, to make a presentation on African Storytelling. The event, organized by the Red Wing Public Library and the Goodhue County Historical Society, was well publicized.

I highlighted the significance of Africa as the cradle of the human race, where language and storytelling began, together with other forms of folklore. The evolution of human consciousness and the capacity to reflect on life, the world, relationships, and values found expression in folklore. I shared several proverbs to illustrate this point.

Then I told the tale of "Spider and the Calabash of Knowledge" and "The Lion's Advice," both from West African Folktales by Jack Berry, as well as "The Chief's Daughter," from West African Folktales by Steven H. Gale. We spent the last ten minutes on questions and answers.

Although I had visited Red Wing several times, over the years, this was my first presentation there. Lindsey, Education & Outreach Coordinator at the Goodhue County Historical Society, planned my visit well. At her suggestion, I brought copies of Matengo Folktales and Africans and Americans: Embracing Cultural Differences and people were able to buy them. That makes me feel that I left a legacy beyond my one hour presentation.