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Using the word digital and griots is a strong rhetorical move: to ground the sometimes detached, post-modern aesthetic project of multimedia practices to purpose and to traditional and political networks that nourish African American rhetoric. The griots of old were the advisors to nobility and performers that were requested worldwide.
Today, they perform on television and radio and record CDs. The inclusion of this metaphor of the digital griot the persuasive motive of rhetorical practices linked to community commitment, making the transfer of this metaphor to writing a call for transformational work.
Some Points of ‘Roots’ Questioned; Haley Stands By Book as a Symbol
He demonstrates how the persuasive role of the griot has historically been a part of this transformational work all along. This passing of information through digital means is not specific to just one culture but the passing of information has always been important to cultural groups and the methods have adjusted to make space in digital areas.
A DJ plays an important role in knowledge transformation, communication and dissemination and Banks relates one this back to the historic meaning as a musician oral historian. Messages through music as a cultural construct is seen through many cultures and using songs and musical performances is shown in exploring the griot of old, which often passed knowledge within and sometimes out of a tribe. This practice is in danger of server alteration when looking at how this practice has been moved to a digital space where the knowledge that is being passed is no longer from a local DJ who is an active part of the community that listens to them, but instead a business entity controls the information that is given out and because of the digital spaces the unique flavor that used to show the culture of a location has been neutralized as the reach of the digital realm is global.
After year 2 of Power of the Pen, The girls involved continued performing year round forming the Griot Girls, a mentoring program for girls in Hip-Hop Theatre. Four years teaching girls playwriting, technical theatre, and acting techniques, rap, dance and singing, Griot Girls has an ensemble, which has partnered with the Kennedy Center, The THEARC, and throughout the community.
Griot Girls is now a curriculum available for schools, organizations, and institutions to help empower girls through hip-hop theatre. In addition to our trainings we also offer specialized curriculum and workshop development and facilitation. This one and a half hour creative workshop is an exploration of performing and literary arts in various African traditions from storytelling to rapping; there are lots of creative ways we tell our stories and the stories of our communities.
Using creative writing as the foundation, middle school girls will learn various forms of writing techniques, oral traditions, and explore their own creativity by creating a poetry book and hosting their own open mic at the end of the semester.