“All we do is story.” –Ben Okri

Historian. Praise-singer. Musician. Griot. Poet.

The tradition of storytelling has been upheld within West African culture for ages. In an effort to preserve and share the culture and happenings of the African-descended community in Seattle, this practice will be continued within the Black Community Impact Alliance (BCIA).

In my work as the Community Storyteller Fellow of the BCIA, I will highlight some of the work taking place in the community, as well as, document the rich history of Seattle’s Black population.

Before stepping into this role, however, I find it necessary to introduce myself. I was born and partially raised in St. Louis, MO, with an older sister and younger brother. For the rest of my youth I grew up in states below the Mason-Dixon Line, so my Southern hospitality is still intact and my kitchen is forever blessed by my grandmother’s recipes. As a child, if I wasn’t playing outside or bothering my sister, I was writing poetry. In my teenage years I experimented with songwriting and, as I grew, so did my craft. I attended Fisk University and graduated with a dual degree in Psychology and Spanish, which helped me join my passion for writing with my propensity for observation.

Having witnessed the frustration that can occur when one can’t see the work being done to better our situation, I hope to bridge the gap between the community and those members who champion on its behalf. I hope to connect the stories of our elders to that of our new generation and those to come. And, as I carry on our cultural tradition of storytelling, I hope to honor and preserve our story, page by page.

Monica W. Community Storyteller of the BCIA Photo by Morgan Preston

Monica W.

Community Storyteller of the BCIA

Photo by Morgan Preston