OUR STORIES | Barbara Pierre-Louis: “Ubuntu” and storytelling preserve untold histories

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Barbara Pierre-Louis attended the “Ubuntu! Storytelling Across the Boundaries of Nation, Culture and Ethnicity,” a community conversation about migration, nation, identity, and race at South High School. The event was organized by Zenzele Isoke, a professor of Gender, Women and Sexuality Studies, and the Black Feminist Praxis Project Team.

Dr. Pierre-Louis, a professor at Metropolitan State University, reflected on the importance of storytelling to her as a Haitian American in Minnesota. Storytelling is a way of preserving the stories and wisdom of her ancestors and black revolutionaries, such as Toussaint L’ouverture, the leader of the Haitian Revolution, she said. She also talked about the importance of libation, a ritual pouring of water as an offering to a spirit, as a way of celebrating those who have passed. 

Reporting for this article supported in part by Bush Foundation.