Thursday, June 17 2021
‘’Eee Jaliya-aa. Alaleka Jaliyaja”.
From each Muted screen view, we could see lips moving in response to the call of the song. It was a way for the Griot to gather the village people together. How far the people were, how many were coming – all this information could be gathered by the call back of the song by the people. It was our song that would now be imbedded in all our neural circuits- explained baba, reminding us of the power of storytelling and music. By the time the story had ended, none of the watering hole participants was in the same place they started at. Baba the story teller, had succesfully immersed us into an experience outside our daily realm and culture.
We must learn to immerse ourselves in different ways of life, in order to understand each other.
In the audience, a question is raised: What is your role in counteracting the history that campaigns against stories of us as Africans?
Baba’s response- ‘I touch hearts’.
Baba has been invited to exclusive spaces that the average person would not have access to ; spaces where he may change the perspectives and ideas of an influential person. A role not far from what the Griot played as advisor to kings. On surface level, Baba is invited to spaces as an entertainer, but here at the watering Hole, we straight up mean business. We mean conversation and ideas that will change how we navigate our world. Perhaps this is our idea of what entertainment means.
Catch the conversation of us at the Watering Hole, Thursdays at 4-6PM
Guest Speaker :
Baba the Storyteller has been a professional speaker since 1994 and is one of the few recognized U.S. born practitioners of the ancient West African storytelling craft known as Jaliyaa. He has received numerous awards over the years for his work as a folklorist, traditional harpist, storyteller, community activist and volunteer.
Baba has presented in thousands of schools and other institutions all across the world. He is also a recipient of a California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition for his creative uses of storytelling and his commitment to community in working with troubled teens. The City of Long Beach California recognized Baba as their municipality’s Artist of the Year, an award presented to him by the Mayor. He has also earned additional commendations from both the U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress. Recently, 2017, Baba was recognized for his undying commitment to building community and activism by being presented the prestigious Heritage Award by the Aquarium of the Pacific during their Annual African-American Heritage Month Celebrations.
Baba is currently touring internationally and working as a Master Teaching Artist with the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, designing curricula which fuse the arts with classroom instruction.