The Gwinnett County Public Library recently announced that their community partner, Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia, has been recognized as a 2022-2023 recipient of the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) Big Read grant. NEA Big Read is a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. In collaboration with the Gwinnett County Public Library, as well as other community partners, Kuumba Storytellers will host a variety of programs centered around Yaa Gyasi’s award-winning novel, Homegoing.
Homegoing is an expansive novel about the legacy of chattel slavery spanning eight generations by African-born writer Yaa Gyasi. The novel begins with the parallel lives of two half-sisters from Ghana in the 18th century and follows their descendants through periods of history that include the American Civil War and Jazz Age Harlem.
The Gwinnett County Public Library in Norcross will host A Big Read Kickoff event on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Gwinnett County Public Library. This is an opportunity for the community to experience storytelling, music, dance, and food that highlights the novel’s cultural foundation. Participants will also have the opportunity to receive a complimentary copy of the book (while supplies last).
Kuumba Storytellers programs throughout the community will take place from October 2022 to May 2023, including several local book club discussions, a genealogy workshop and a youth event. Kuumba Storytellers of Georgia is a group of professional storytellers who provide education programs virtually and throughout Metro Atlanta. Its mission is to preserve the African oral tradition and provide awareness of the cultural history of African and African American people and to serve as an educational resource for the community. Kuumba Storytellers has been awarded $7500 and plan to match that with an additional $7500 so that they can reach more people and encourage literacy throughout a wider community. They will have a fundraising campaign from August 27 through August 31, as part of the Young Black and Giving Back Institute‘s GIVE828 fundraising initiative.