The Griot Initiative documents the varied voices of people with roots in the African Diaspora living in the United States.

Stories from the Griot Initiative

Clayton Sherrod looks back to 1964, when at 19 years old he became executive chef at an all-white country club in Birmingham, ...
Recorded in Birmingham, Alabama
“You remember the first dinner together?”
“If you need me to hold your hand, I'm there.”
“I draw my strength from you.”
“We walked everyday from sunup to sunset.”

Listen to More Stories from the Griot Initiative


About the Griot Initiative

StoryCorps Griot is an initiative to ensure that the voices, experiences, and life stories of African Americans will be preserved and presented with dignity.

A Griot (pronounced gree-oh) is a storyteller, a position of honor in West African tradition, who hands down family and community history from one generation to the next.

All interviews recorded as part of the Griot Initiative will be archived at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture in addition to the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.


Advisory Group

Lonnie Bunch
Director, National Museum of African American History and Culture

William Ferris
Professor of History/Sr. Associate Director, Center for the Study of the American South

John W. Franklin
Manager, National Museum of African American History and Culture

Ennifer Lawson
General Manager, WHUT-TV

Farai Chideya
Host, News & Notes

Jennifer Scott
Director of Research, Weeksville Heritage Center

Allison Keyes
Reporter, National Public Radio

Orlando Bagwell
Deputy Director, Ford Foundation

Updates from the Griot Initiative

Evolving from the Negro Normal School in Tuskegee to Tuskegee Institute to Tuskegee University, the school and namesake community have had an intertwining history of great achievement and intellectual prosperity.


Funding for the Griot Initiative Provided by

  • Major Funding Provided By

  • National Broadcast Sponsors

  • National Partners

    NPR American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress