Tuesday, February 07, 2012

The Black Blogger as Modern Griot

I am delighted to announce the launch of my new ebook, Secrets of the Black Bloggers.

The griot was part of an ancient oral tradition in areas of West Africa from which many of our ancestors originated.

If you have seen Roots or read the book, you will know a little bit about the griot.

The role of the griot was to remember the history and customs of the community, and to share them orally with others in the village or clan, passing them down to the next generation. So the griot was vital in helping the community to define its identity.

During slavery times, although forbidden to read or write, our ancestors still managed to record their stories – either by memory or through scribbling away in secret.

We are fortunate to have access to many of their words today.

In the 21st century, bloggers fulfil the functions of the griot. We record the lives and experiences of our people digitally. Living in the information age, we can now share our words globally.

We record the doings of our people, our lives and the events which affect us – be they local, national or global.

As February is recognized as Black History Month in the U.S.A., we are particularly called upon to recall our history, comment on it and share it.

There are always forces at work striving to eradicate our history, our memories and, in truth, our lives.

Yet many Black bloggers, by putting the news and views of the community at the forefront of our work, ensure that our history continues to remain alive. The news and opinions we blog about today are a living history, which continues to inform a larger and larger readership.

The 16 bloggers I have interviewed in Secrets of the Black Bloggers are continuing this tradition of the griot. Writing our stories. Sharing our truths.

What may be different is that we comment in ways that are unashamedly biased and opinionated. Every voice has a place, and every blogger has the freedom to express his or her point of view.

I am sure you will enjoy Secrets of the Black Bloggers as much as I have. These bloggers will entertain, inform and inspire you.

Please leave your comments below.

This blog contains hundreds of Black history resources.  Go here to check out some of my Black history blogs


Black Women in Europe said...

Thank you for writing this book about black bloggers. I think the timing is great as I am hopeful that black bloggers will play an important role in the 2012 US Presidential elections as we did in 2008.

The most important role we can play is in getting our people registered to vote (including fighting all of the new hurdles being thrown at unregistered voters) and getting people to the poles.

Thank you for including me in your book and keep up the excellent work in supporting and motivating black people.

Anne J. said...

This book sounds fascinating, and of course it's very timely. Did you know that some Tea Party people have started a movement to eliminate any reference to the fact that the founding fathers of the USA were slaveowners? When I was a child learning about US history, I never learned that either...I guess they want to go back to the bad old days of the 50s.

Zhana21 said...

I am very happy you agreed to be included in the book, BWIE. I agree, Black bloggers can have a lot of influence and we need to be mindful about how we use it.

Keep up the good work!

AfricanAmericanPundit said...

Congratulations Zana, Can't swait to read the book. I plan to purchase my copy this week!

Zhana21 said...

Thank you for your comment, Anne J. I have posted several times about the need for us to tell our own stories. There are always people trying to deny and destroy knowledge of our history but WE MUST NOT LET THEM!

Zhana21 said...

Thank you so much, AAPP. Please let me know what you think of the book once you have read it.