Summer Teacher Feature

griot

What you learned at your workshop:

I attended a drumming symposium hosted by an organization called Total Rhythm. From the selection of wood in the construction process to its accompanying rhythm, this workshop taught the importance of the drum in oral history.

A Griot is an oral historian from Sub-Saharan Africa who recites family history with the drum to create a sense of respect for elders and ancestors who are responsible for laying the foundation for personal and future successes. The drum represents the heartbeat that unites all humans who must maintain a constant rhythm to remain healthy.Green 2

The basis of the oral history passed on by the Griot to the family comes from the fact that the present is created by the past, and the present creates the future who must be nurtured intellectually, morally, and physically in order to ensure the survival of the family (immediate family, neighborhood, city, state, and country). If we allow the current generation to fail, the foundation fails.

How you will implement what you’ve learned:

Masamba Diop, the percussionist and drummer in the movie Black Panther, will be invited as O’Dowd’s guest speaker for the Black Student Union assembly this coming year.

The regular Geo-History classes I teach will also begin with a foundation of oral history and its importance to the success of community.”

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