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African Oral Storytelling Culture: Culture Tuesdays


African Storytelling – Oral Storytelling Culture

Today I’d like to talk about the oral storytelling traditions of Africa. In storytelling, fantasy, or made-up storylines are blended with realistic images of the present to tell a broader story and widen the imagination of the listener. The stories often connect the listener with the experience of their ancestors. Oral storytellers help to carry traditions and remind the people of the past, with summaries of moral conviction that are passed down through generations. There is performance, music, tradition and an array of emotions portrayed through one single story. The purpose of these performances is to paint a memorable picture in the mind of the audience that will teach lessons, and stay with them for a long time. The past and the present are made a reality, and helps make more sense of the present. Before literature, oral traditions were thriving. There are still hints of the storytelling tradition throughout much of black culture today. For example, in Louisiana, “toasting” is derived from African oral tradition culture. A toast is a generally lengthy, recited narrative or poem describing a series of events by a central character. Focusing on the main character’s heroic acts and intelligence, the toast presents values through actions. Toasts are most often recited on street corners, front porches, prisons, or wherever Black people gather together.

Other examples can be seen in the exercise of spoken word, storytelling in music such as Hip-Hop, and Rhythm and Blues.

Check out the video above of a traditional oral performance!

Enjoy Loves! ❤️

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