At the center of every culture is a group of people seated around a fire telling of the heroes whose struggles transformed and remade their world. That’s true whether the fire is the burning embers of a cooking fire in the Amazon basin or the flickering pixels of a cathode ray tube in upper Manhattan. It’s true whether the hero is White Buffalo Calf Woman, whose gift of the sacred pipe gave birth to the Sioux nation, or Neal Armstrong, whose view of the world from the moon unleashed in an era of globalization. These stories do more than define a culture; they shape and move it, making a living thing.
As human beings, we communicate primarily through the telling of stories. We are bombarded by hundreds of stories each day –stories about which toothpaste is best, about terrorists lurking in the shadows, about new scientific miracles and eternal spiritual truths.
Over at TED, Storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy spins a funny, wise and luminous tale of parents and kids, starring her Cuban mother. Settle in and enjoy the ride — Mama’s driving! A great storytelling style worth taking a look.
Deedy is a regular contributor to National Public Radio’s Weekend All Things Considered and Latino USA. Her audio collection of twelve short stories originally heard on NPR, Growing up Cuban in Decatur, Georgia, [Peachtree Publishers (January 31, 2004)] was named Publishers Weekly 1995 Best Audiobook–Adult Storytelling and received the Parents’ Choice Gold Award 1996.