African American 
Oral History Project

Oakland’s young African American men have stories to tell; and two years ago the Center for Healthy Schools and Communities began to capture these stories. The African American Oral History Project was born from the Center’s acknowledgment that personal and community health are enriched through storytelling. Health professionals and educators agree that sharing stories is a way to connect people, bridging the gap between ages, races, and culture.

The Griots of Oakland is the first of a series of community preservation projects undertaken by the Center in an effort to empower families and youth, grow a community’s capacity to affect change, and link health and education institutions to achieve equity.



Buy the Griots Book

Now available at and

For orders over 25 copies, email the
publisher directly for a bulk discount.




The Griots of Oakland book and exhibitions are presented in partnership with Story For All, Oakland Unified School District’s Office of African American Male Achievement, and the African American Museum and Library at Oakland.

Funding provided by:
Center for Healthy Schools and Communities
Cal Humanities


For more information on the Griots project contact:

Project Director: Angela Zusman, Story For All

Media Coordinator: Hilary Crowley, CHSC

Story For All is a non-profit based in Oakland, CA, that uses the power of story to educate, empower and heal people and communities. They conduct storytelling trainings, facilitate story collecting projects, and produce books, videos, web content, exhibits, and events.

"The Griots displays the pain, the power and the promise of young African American men that should make us act.”

— Junious Williams
Chief Executive Officer, Urban Strategies Council

© 2014 Center for Healthy Schools and Communities