The history of the griot

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Harry Colbert

As a West African descendant of enslaved people in America, West Africa is where I am most likely to have ancestral roots. There’s a word that describes what I do as an occupation.

It’s more than just what I do; it’s who and what I am.

Griot is the word. Griots are the storytellers and historians. People would often gather around the griot to share the stories, histories, and customs of their villages. The griot is revered and respected as an elder who can impart wisdom and knowledge to all of the land.

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Humbly, proudly, I consider myself to be an American griot. Today, however, the griots face severe attack. American journalists are no longer respected and are being demonized at every opportunity. It’s often our fault. America seems to be more concerned with celebrity and sensationalism than the story itself.

MinnPost is a great place to work. MinnPost is not about the story. It’s the story behind it. It’s not about the who and what, but rather the why and how. It’s not the storyteller who matters, but the story itself.

Our donors are what allow us to tell real and meaningful stories about Minnesota and/or Minnesotans. We need your help to continue to tell the truth and bring light to Minnesotans.

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