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Quantitative analysis and Qualitative methods (survey) to test the effectiveness of a

cultural competence curriculum aimed at students of color interning in mainstream agencies.

In traditional African societies, the storyteller (also known as the Griot in French

colonized areas) had a central role in documenting and recounting local history, social

organization, and family membership (Boadu, 1993; Kouyate, 1989). Storytelling functioned to

educate, pass along moral codes, and cement group membership as well as to entertain (Boadu,

1993). It also served to preserve the history of traditional societies, including their struggles,

defeats, and triumphs (Okpewho, 2003). Commented [MJ1]: 1992 or NOR

Enslaved African brought this tradition to the Americas (Courlander, 1996). In

circumstances in which normal communication was prohibited, material possessions were

nonexistent. Stories served to pass along traditional culture and knowledge (Courlander, 1996).

Storytelling for enslaved Africans in the United States included practical instructions on how to

survive in and rebel against a barbarous system of oppression and exploitation (Faulkner, 1993).

Both of these functions connect ante-bellum African American storytelling to post-bellum and

contemporary storytelling. The narratives were put into songs and rhythms and were captured in

movements, all of which were often religious in external appearance (Courlander, 1996;

Faulkner, 1993). The religious context allowed the traditional message and faith to be expressed

in an acceptable format, leading to spirituals and the many metaphors of escape in the retelling of

biblical stories such as the story of Moses (Spencer, 1990). Comparisons to the biblical plight of

Jews and early Christians also offered models of direct action and resistance within the Judeo

Christian context (Spencer, 1990).

In the home and community, family storytelling has passed down the family history

through the oral remembrances of elders on the front porch, among the women in the kitchen,
and during the after-dinner times around the dinner table (Fulton 2006). The black womanist

perspective (hooks, 1989) likely has roots among African American women talking to each other Commented [MJ2]: 1995??

using storytelling. Notably, such storytelling motivated writer Alex Haley to transform his

family stories into the groundbreaking television story, Roots (1976).

Information encoded in the narrative arts transmits knowledge inter-generationally and

cross culturally. Social Biologist Richard Dawkins (1976) identified how ideas are self

replicating units that trigger cultural evolution with mutations occurring in imitation (p. 189-

192). The mimetic theory of cultural evolution is at the node between colonial western

harmonies fusion with African tribal traditions, and innovations that have been instrumental in

revitalizing sagging musical expression in the West (Abrahams, 1970, p. 6). Musicologist Jon Commented [MJ3]: NOR

Michael Spencer (1990) believes that African rhythm patters are hermeneutic analytic methods,

where transmitted codes are perceived and meaningful to the initiate (p. xxii). African rhythms

image and renew black consciousness in a musical continuum form the spiritual, gospel, soul,

blues and hip hop. Oral storytelling is constantly reinvented, and where the singer draws on her

own emotional palette, imbued with idiosyncratic style in vocal timbre and rhythmic

interpretation (Abrahams, 1970). The bearers of these traditions say that music has no end, Commented [MJ4]: NOR

passed on from generation to generation like a grapevine that is never pruned (Shannon, 2004).