What Do You Know About GRIOT


The art of conveying factual and connective story points in rhyme is a notable linguistic that I use all of the time. Many children's books were founded on this principle because learning a rhyme full-of-pertinent-info makes you feel invincible.


I've been an avid reader since the very first day that I learned how to read and as soon as I learned to write... well, I have not stopped. Early on in elementary school, I learned that I had a talent for poetics when my 2nd-grade teacher, Ms. Grant gave us a Mothers Day card building assignment. We were to copy this poem from the board and then personalize it for our parents:

ROSES ARE RED

VIOLETS ARE BLUE

[Personalize Poem Here]

AND I LOVE YOU, TOO.

The example that the teacher gave us to personalize with bordered along the lines of "You make the best pancakes" or "You give the best hugs" then end with "and I love you, too. It was a genius concept, but I had more to say, and at 6-7years old, I did convey. I don't remember quite what I said, but I think mine went something like this:


ROSES ARE RED,

VIOLETS ARE BLUE

Mommy and Daddy, I really love you.

I'm sorry about the blood on my pillow too,

It happened that night I lost my tooth.

Thank you for everything that you always do,

AND I LOVE YOU, TOO.


When Ms. Grant read my card aloud, she looked into the student body and said, who wrote this, and how do you pronounce your name? I was shy and eventually fessed up to being the writer because she and the Teacher's Assistant was butchering my name. Ms. Grant was elated, hugged me, and told me 'I'd be a great writer someday and how much she appreciated my clear message convey.'


Fast forward to the year 2006, in the month of February I post a selective few of my unbridled poetic pieces on MYSPACE, this was during the DEF POETRY JAM circuit. Fab5Freddy found the pieces on MySpace and left me a note regarding my talent. I don't remember everything that he said, but I do remember him saying, "Well if you think your skills are all-that, bring them to New York, baby."


July 2006 found me in Times Square at the PARAMOUNT HOTEL, American Gangster was in production. Fab5Freddy is a Consulting Producer on the film, after they wrap we meet up to talk shop, but it wasn't art or hip hop because my "recollection of story in rhyme" would not stop. Fab is a cool dude and didn't consider my poetic spills to be rude, but instead introduced me to the History of GRIOT.


I took it seriously. As a Black woman from the South, an obvious slave-descendant, I have no trace of my history inklings or beginnings. And it's not that Fab told me my own life's story - no, but he did confirm that my style of talking in poetics has ancestral reference.


The closest I'd felt to my ancestral history was via the broadcasted mini-series ROOTS, based on the book written by Alex Haley. Imagine the value of GRIOT information in my life. It was unmeasurable, and certainly something worth researching. So I did and the more that I was able to pull fragments together of the ancient linguistic the more I started immediately drawing lines to Children's tales, lullaby's, Dr. Seuss's intentions, and Hip Hop's domination of rhyme-versed conversation. The lay is deep of Griot relations.


The purpose of Griot is to convey newsworthy stories in rhyme, initially for the sake of remembering pertinent and concerning tribal news. It worked then and it's still working today. Griot's grandchild is Rap.


Me? I Griot world news daily and Google SEO archives it. I'm a natural storyteller, and history is selling it. Have you dropped by my Griot site yet? It's a chronicle of weekly news formatted like a mic check. Check it out if you have the time. I've got my ancestors on "front street" via my Griot lines.


If you never knew of Griot, I've just dropped you your first dime. Thank you so much for stopping by to vibe my vine and yielding me your time. May peace & blessings keep you from getting in a tight-bind, and whatever you do, don't drink soured wine.