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Chicago’s Griot-Oba William King

Welcome to our Favorite Artist of the Month Series.  Our feature this month has been on Oba William King, a storyteller and griot (historian) residing in  the Chicago area.  We have copied this article in its entirety from as they said it better, well almost better, than we could. To view previous articles on Oba, please go to categories/Black History Month.  Oba is available for bookings and performances throughout the nation.  You don’t have to live in Chicago to enjoy his magnificent performances. Bring him to your town & enjoy!

 Oba William King’s interactive performances, storytelling, drama workshops and lectures involve particpants in a stimulating variety of self-esteem building activities. His programs celebrate African-American heritage, demonstrate cultural tradition and encourage cultural diversity. His work helps students to develop articulation skills through storytelling and poetry, as well as conflict resolution, self-image, team-building and agile thinking. Oba also provides performances for seniors, adults and toddlers.

As an American Griot, the poetic storyteller, Oba offers assembly-style performances, interweaving stories and poetry with rhythm and song to create a wonderfully entertaining, educational event for school, church, community center, public or private organization. Materials are adapted to fit the age of the audience. All audiences, all ages, all cultures, all communities.

Oba is a 2002 Illinois Arts Council’s Fellowship Award recipient, 2000 Hands On Stanza’s Gwendolyn Brooks Award recipient, and Hidden Jewel of the Neighborhood 2000 recipient. Oba was recently featured on Network Chicago’s “Artbeat Chicago” segment titled King of the Classroom. Available programs include:

We Speak in Rhythm
A story of freedom, knowledge and the importance of staying in school. The performance includes poetry, music, vocals, drama, and dance.

The Poetic Storyteller
Oba’s imaginative style of poetic interpretations bring stories and life lessons center stage. Great for young audiences and family gatherings.

Holiday Celebration Showcase
Oba produces presentations and performance programs for Kwanzaa, African-American Heritage Month, Women’s History Month, Earth Day, National Poetry Week, Mother’s Day showcase, The Week of the Chid, Juneteenth, and Father’s Day. The Summer Smash, Youth Heritage Festival, and Back 2 School – Jamboree – are available as package productions.

See What I’m Saying
A writing workshop for teens, designed with interactive poetry and storytelling that fits their needs. The workshop culminates with live performance or keepsake “chap-book.”

Storytelling Time!

A workshop and performance combination for 3rd through 8th grade. Students read, write, and learn stories, poems, and cultural songs to share at an assembly style special event.

Family Reading Night
Oba is available as a featured performer for your family reading night event. Oba can fit into the agenda, working with small groups to help parents learn skills for encouraging reading at home.

The Courtroom
An awareness/prevention production designed to educate high school youth and their communities about the need to become active in the prevention of contracting HIV/AIDS. Through the use of Shakespeare Theater techniques, the production instructs, shares statistics, abolishes myths, and offers solutions necessary to prevent the risk of becoming a statistic to the spread of the disease.

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