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Year 3 Fellow, Contributors

Don Harrell

Year 3 Fellow, Contributor
he, him, his

Winter Garden, FL

Orisirisi African Folklore

About Me: On the day of my birth the answer to the race question was Negro, which meant that I was not entitled to the full measure of the rights and privilege granted to others. I am a descendant of enslaved Africans who over time have been referred to as, Colored, Negro, Black, African American, and other less endearing terms. I am a celebrant of this heritage because of those who came before me- a strong and majestic people who created themselves as a distinct culture during their four hundred-and-one-year existence, within the context of a struggle for survival, liberation, and civil rights. The sacrifices that they made and the hardships that they endured foretell my social justice and equity demanding artistic practice and scholarly pursuits. My professional career includes significant experience as an administrator, educator, arts organization executive board member producer, director, performing artist, and arts activist, and is aimed at using education and direct action to eradicate racism and other types of oppression.

Orisirisi African Folklore- the performing arts and arts education company that I co-founded with my wife Ilenbilu Adetutu is an awe inspiring adventure rooted in the history, culture, and traditions of Africa, inclusive of folktales, legends, and myths, drumming, dance and song, children’s games, lectures on special topics, and a healthy dose of the obligatory African tradition of audience participation. The company shares its unique brand of folklore, with countless people from a vast array of demographics and cultural backgrounds at primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, festivals, churches, libraries, museums, conferences, corporate and teacher in-services, television and radio programs, theme parks, and special events, while exhibiting an unwavering commitment to the needs of the individual, the group, the community, and society at large.