The Story Board Game Blog Series

Founder, Linda Goss deepened our knowledge of NABS and Blackstorytelling by designing “Story Board Game” – a 63-questionnaire contest for NABS members. The challenge was met, and the winners were deemed NABS Historians. Congratulations to winners, Sandra Williams Bush and Sharon Jordan Holley; President MaryAnn Harris and Jimmy Caldwell; Robert Smith and Kay Merrill; Joyce Duncan; and, Gloria Black.

This posting is the beginning of the Story Board Game Blog Series. The Historians have authored intriguing and in-depth articles that further explore the answers to Mama Linda’s cultural query. We begin the series by posting the first 25 questions and answers. A link to our Website will be provided for selected answers.

You can download the full Story Board Game from our website at, play along, and look forward to the upcoming historical posts.

The NABS “Story Board” Game

1. (A) Why did NABS Founders, Mama Mary Carter Smith and Mama Linda Goss call the Black storytelling Festival “In the Tradition…”?

To bring forth and protect the African Oral Tradition. To reconnect our storytelling and storytelling styles to the Mother Africa. To call forth the Black Storytellers who saw Storytelling as a mission for us to come together to protect and maintain our storytelling traditions.

(B) What was the complete title of the first festival?  In the Tradition: National Black Festival of Storytelling.

(C) Who were the sponsors?
• Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.
• Morgan State University,
• City of Baltimore

(D) Name the place and year the first festival was held?  Baltimore, MD in 1983

2. (A) Which came first the Festival or the Association?  The Festival held 1983, Association formed 1984

(B) What is the legend behind how NABS was formed?
The first two festivals were a gift that Mother Mary Carter Smith and Mama Linda Goss presented free to the public. In Philadelphia, the community asked if there was a charge and encouraged its continuance. It was the people who called for the festival to continue and become organized. It was a grassroots effort. The Association was then formed.

(C) Name the original NABS Board Members.  See Website

(D) How many of them have you met?  Personal – Various Answers

3. (A) Name all the Presidents of NABS.  See Website 

(B) Name them in order. See Website

(C) How many can you name without looking up the information? Personal – Various Answers

(D) What is the meaning of the Cowtail Switch? The decorated tail of cow, or antelope. Professional Black Storytellers in America has made it a symbol. Whoever has the cowtail switch has the authority to speak.

(E) Who was the first President to receive the Cowtail Switch?  Baba Jamal Koram.

4. Name the NABS Festival year, and location where the following first occurred:
(A) Zora Neale Hurston Awards – 1985 in Washington DC
(B) Souvenir Journals – 1990 New Orleans
(C) NABS souvenir buttons – 1984 Philadelphia
(D) The Heritage tour – 1990 New Orleans
(E) The Tall Tale/Liars contest – 1986 Chicago
(F) Who was the first Tall Tale/Liars contest winner? –Tejumola

5. How old were you when you went door to door to encourage Black people to vote? Personal – Various Answers

6. (A) Who is Roland Freeman? Quilter and Photographer

(B) What is his connection to African American Folklore?  Documented southern culture; he was influenced by ZNH; and, he owns the largest collection of African American Quilts owned by an African American.

7. How old were you when you saw Martin Luther King, Jr. in person?  Personal – Various Answers

8. (A) What story did Rosa Parks tell about why she decided not to give up her seat?
She was greatly affected by the death of Emmett Till in August 1955. She said, “Our young people were dying. Our young people were sacrificing their lives.” She felt she had to do something.

(B) Where was she trained in civil rights strategies?  The Highlander Folk School in Knoxville, TN.

9.  (A)Who owns the copyright to the Black Folk Song “We Shall Overcome”? Pete Seeger, Guy Carawan, Zilphia Horton, Frank Hamilton.

(B) Name the recording artist who was the first to sell a million copies of a recording and what else is this artist known for?
Harry Belafonte. The Banana Boat Song (Day O). He is an activist.

10. How many Civil Rights /Human Rights demonstrations, sit-ins, protests, marches, rallies, etc. have you participated in? Name them.
Personal – Various Answers.

11. Name the NABS member who participated in the first student take over/sit-in demonstration on a college campus.  Mama Linda Goss, Howard University and Vanora LeGaux, Southern University.

12. (A) Name the NABS member who saw “the hearse come ‘arolling up that hill.”  Caroliese Frink Reed
(B) Whose body was in the hearse?  While a student at Morris Brown College, she  saw Martin Luther King Jr.’s in his casket.

13. (A) Name the 7 principles of Kwanzaa and their meanings.
• Umoja/Unity
• Kujichagulia/Self-determination,
• Ujima/Collective Work and Responsibility
• Ujamaa/Cooperative Economics
• Nia/Purpose
• Kuumba/Creativity
• Imani/Faith

(B) Name the 7 main symbols of Kwanza and their meanings.
Mkeka/Straw Mat
Kinara,/Candle Holder
Mishumaa Saba/Seven Candles
Kikombe cha Umoja/Unity Cup

14. Define the following words or terms:

A. Sankofa – Go back to the past to pick up something to take to future.

B. Kuntu Drama – Book authored by Paul Carter Harrison. Connects African Americans in drama and storytelling as part of performance on the stage. Connects Energy of Africa into black theater using ritual and style.

C. Akwaaba – Twi term for Welcome

D. Nommo – Power of the Word – Connected to Dogon belief.

E. Harambee – Kishwahil phrase for Let’s pull together

F. Libation – Part of ceremony ritual to honor ancestors, includes pouring of liquid.

G. “The Call” – Destined to a mission. Believing as storyteller that you are called to that purpose.

H. Djeli – Mandinka term for storyteller

I. Ase or Ashe – Yoruba term for thank you.

J. Asante sana – Kiswhahili term for thank you very much

K. Griot – French term for storyteller

L. Kente – Royal cloth of Ghana woven by male. Tradition past on from father to son.

15. (A) Name the Book that is referred to as “The Bible of Storytelling”.  Talk that Talk

(B) Name the NABS members who edited the Book.  Linda Goss, Marion Barnes.

(C) Name the 4 books that influenced this book
• The Book of Negro Folklore, Langston Hughes and Arna Bontemps
• Mules and Men, Zora Neale Hurston
• Black Fire, Amiri Baraka
• The New Negro Alan Locke

(D) Name the artist whose work is featured on the cover of the book.  Jacob Lawrence

(E) Who is featured on the cover or name the story the cover is depicting.  Harriet Tubman

16. Name the NABS member who has won an EMMY in Storytelling. Willa Brigham and John “Kinderman,” Taylor and Bobby Norfolk

17. Name the NABS Member who has been featured on “The David Letterman Show.” Jackie Torrence

18. Name the NABS member who has been featured on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Shante Nurullah

19. Name the NABS member who has been featured on “The Today Show”.  Linda Goss

20. (A) Name the NABS members who are editors of the first book published by NABS. Linda Goss, Dylan Pritchett, Caroliese Frink Reed

(B) Name 3 things that they have in common.
• All Past Presidents
• Past Festival Directors
• Winners of the Zora Neale Hurston Awardees
• Life Members

(C) Name the Book. Sayin’ Somethin’

21. Circle the location that was not a site for one of NABS’ Festival Programs.
A. Smithsonian Institution
B. Please Touch Museum
C. The John F. Kennedy Center
D. The United Nations
E. Baltimore Museum of Art

22. Name the NABS member who curated the first exhibition of quilts made by Black men.  Dr. Gladys Marie Fry

23. Name the NABS member who is the founder of an African-American Quilters and Doll Guild. Gloria Kellon

24. (A) Name the NABS member whose book has been featured on the New York Times Best Sellers List for Children.  Sharon Draper

(B) Name the book. Out of My Mind

25. (A) How many affiliates does NABS have? 14

(B) Name them. See Website.

(C) Who was the first Affiliate? Detroit Association of Black Storytellers