Founded in 1998, RIBS is a small non-profit based out of Providence, Rhode Island dedicated to promoting the awareness, appreciation, and application of Black storytelling. They define Black storytelling as an oral art from African and African descended people from around the world. They share their craft through performances, workshops, cultural, educational, and historical experiences. RIBS does not just tell Black stories; they also aim to help others do the same. They do it not just because they believe it is important for Black communities to know their own history and culture, but for everyone to experience Black culture presented by Black people.
“I love that our students get to experience the joy of listening and being engaged by someone sharing a story. I love that they all seem to have a lesson attached to them”
— Elementary School Teacher
Storytelling is a long-held Black tradition and art form that traces its roots back to African storytelling traditions. African Slaves used storytelling as a way to preserve their heritage. In traditional African societies, a griot or storyteller had the responsibility of telling and passing down the stories of the people’s history and culture. Modern storytellers continue this tradition by nurturing a sense of community through their storytelling. The stories told include personal histories, folktales, legends, and present religious themes.