This project is meant to explore the crucial role the griot played in preserving the histories and stories of many great African kingdoms. Historians continually point to the importance oral histories played in medieval Africa. This strong tradition of oral history is not as common in the histories of European civilization. This is one reason why African history seems to slip through the cracks in a world dominated by European historians. However, European historical accounts—which your textbook looks a lot more similar to—lack the richness of the oral histories of the African continent.
In this project students will attempt to seek out oral histories of your their own families by interviewing a “griot” of sorts in their own family.
Designed for use in 7th grade History classroom in Oakland, California, but adaptable to many different classrooms. Material includes a timeline for the project and a rubric for assessing the student's projects.