Smithsonian To Archive Oral Histories From Blacks - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Smithsonian To Archive Oral Histories From Blacks

Picture of the StoryCorps GriotBooth courtesy of Picture of the StoryCorps GriotBooth courtesy of

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A new project from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting hopes to record about 2,000 oral histories from everyday black families over the next year.

The recordings will be placed in the archives of the Smithsonian's future National Museum of African American History and Culture. 

The project will visit Memphis among other cities. 

Museum director Lonnie Bunch said family memories are one of the best ways for the nation to remember black history. The recordings may be used in future exhibits.

A mobile recording studio will visit nine cities over the next year to make the recordings. The nonprofit group Sound Portraits Productions will conduct the recordings.

They produce the StoryCorps series aired on National Public Radio.

The project, called StoryCorps Griot, starts Feb. 15 in Atlanta. 

The name "griot" refers to the West African tradition of storytelling where a respected tribe member, a "griot," is a living repository of the community's history. 

Other cities on the stops include Chicago; Clarksdale, Miss.; Detroit; Montgomery and Selma, Ala.; Newark, N.J.; and Oakland, Calif.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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