Published by The Advocacy Committee of the
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Stories Accentuate the Positive

Chicago Tribune , July 29, 2004


Rooted in African traditions, storyteller Oba William King works to subvert negative stereotypes and inspire children to set high goals through songs and stories.

King told the reporter:

"Sometimes in our community, you get a sense from the negative images that are so constant that you just can't do it. If you're trying to work, to do positive things, nobody sees you. You're under the radar. You're Mr. Cellophane."

For King, one of his missions as a professional storyteller--along with regular appearances at bookstores, workshops and creative-writing programs--has been to work with children, encouraging them to seek out positive role models, to set goals and to work toward them.

King was sharing stories at a South Side family center. Marilyn Brink, the center's education coordinator said of the children who were present at the storytelling program:

"They get really excited, because the songs he does are about them--and their culture. Their eyes light up."

Subjects Covered: education

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