Griot: A central figure in many West African cultures. Historically, the griot held many functions, including community historian, cultural critic, indigenous artist and collective spokesperson.

The Griot Institute for Africana Studies provides faculty and student intellectual and creative engagement with the interdisciplinary investigation of the cultures, histories, narratives, peoples, geographies and arts of Africa and the African diaspora.

MLK Week ​brings​ ​various​ ​scholars​ ​to​ ​campus​​ ​to​ engage​ ​our​ ​community​ ​in​ ​a​ ​conversation​ ​about​ ​Dr.​ ​King's​ ​legacy​ ​and philosophies​ ​with​ ​regard​ ​to​ ​current​ ​struggles and​​ includ​e​s ​a charitable gift drive and an array of events designed to raise awareness and empower participants to enact individual and community change.

Martin Luther King Jr. Week
The Griot Tree photograph is used by permission of the artist, Bobbie Crews.
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The Griot Tree photograph is used by permission of the artist, Bobbie Crews.

The Griot Tree photograph is used by permission of the artist, Bobbie Crews.

Erasure: Blackness and the Fight Against Invisibility

In the spring of 2018, the Griot Institute for Africana Studies will engage the topic of erasure from multiple disciplinary, artistic, and intellectual perspectives. Centering Percival Everett's novel Erasure as a focal point, the series will bring to campus a wide array of scholars and artists to consider the impacts of this eviscerating phenomenon of erasure.

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