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African Griots in America – Three Generations, Three Stories
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June 1st & 2nd, 2012, on The Signal:
PHOTO CREDIT: SHANE CARPENTER
Imagine you’re keeper of a family tradition that goes back 800 years. You and your kin are tellers of history, spiritual counselors, and you do your work through the medium of music. You’ve learned your art from your father – your father from his father before him. You’re respected. You’re venerated. You’re essential.
And then you pack up and travel 4000 miles away. You land in a country where you don’t speak the language. You’re anonymous and utterly out of your element. This is what happened to West African griot Cheick Hamala Diabate, and this week on the program we hear his story. We also meet Baba Baile McKnight, an African-American who embraced the Black Power Movement and traveled to Africa in search of his roots. And we’ll visit with Amadou Kouyate, the American-born son of a Senegalese griot, a child literally of two worlds.
…The legacy of the griot in America, through the lens of three generations, on a special episode of The Signal coproduced with Maryland Traditions folklorist Cliff Murphy.
More photos of our guests at photographer Shane Carpenter's site: www.thesharer.com/post/23677088227
Learn more about the Maryland Traditions Folklife Festival 2012 at: www.marylandtraditions.org/festival
Memory of African Culture (the Kouyate Family’s cultural organization): http://www.memoryofafricanculture.org/