“A griot (pronounced greeo) is one who, by memory alone, preserves and teaches the history and traditions of the tribe. In some traditional African societies, this master of “historical oratory” is an important sacred figure – akin to a story-teller, minstrel, jester, herald, annalist, troubadour, gleeman, and poet all rolled into one.”

–Geneva Smitherman, Talkin and Testifyin (1977)