NABS Presidents

Linda Goss

Linda Goss
Co-Founder of Affiliate Keepers of The Culture, Philadelphia
Zora Neale Hurston Award Winner, Life Member

Co-founded organization; Incorporated as the National Association of  Black Storytellers, Inc.; Festivals coordinated by Host Cities; Zora Neale Hurston Award Established; Liar's Contest Established; Love Circle Established; 1st Newsletter Published;  Published Talk that Talk

Positions Held: Chair of Nominations & Elections Committee; Festival Director; Editor, Sayin' Somethin'

"Think before you speak and pray before you think." – Willie Louise Martin McNear

Eleanora E. Tate

Eleanora E. Tate
Zora Neale Hurston Award Winner, Life Member

Adopt-A-Teller Program Modeled; Landmark Festival in Horry & Georgetown Counties, SC (Winner of Chamber of Congress "Top-Ten" Award); NABS Trademark Redesigned; President's Award Established; First Membership Handbook Produced

Positions Held:  Co-Festival Director

"As long as the living tell the stories the people shall not die."  ~ West Africa

Baba Jamal Koram

Baba Jamal Koram
Zora Neale Hurston Award Winner, Brother Blue Circle of Elders

1st to Receive Passing of Cowtail Switch; New By-Laws Enacted; National Affiliate Program Established; Festival Community Outreach Named "Adopt-A-Teller"; First Heritage Tour

Positions Held: 1st President-Elect; Treasurer; Festival Director; Affiliate Director (Sole)

"Kwa Mashu – Where is the courage in this place?"  ~ Jamal Koram

Caroliese Frink Reed

Dr. Caroliese Frink Reed
Co-Founder of Affiliate Keepers of The Culture, Philadelphia
Zora Neale Hurston Award Winner, Brother Blue Circle of Elders; Life Member

Application of NABS 501(c) 3; Festival Guidelines Established outlining all Festival Committees; The Elder's Chair in Honor of Brother Blue Established; First Board Professional Development; First Full Youth Program at Festival & Conference

Positions Held: Administrative Assistant; Festival Director; Festival Selection Committee Chair; Festival Creative Director; Editor, Sayin' Somethin', Education Committee Chair

"We are what our thinking makes us." ~ Nigeria

Linda Jenkins Brown

Linda Jenkins Brown (Ancestor)
Zora Neale Hurston Award Winner, Life Member

501 (c) 3 Received; The first NABS-sponsored Festival; National Youth Program Established; First Village Telling; The National Adopt-A-Teller Program Established

Positions Held: Festival Director; 1st Executive Director

"Guard your Relationships." ~ Linda Jenkins Brown

Bill Grimmette

Bill Grimmette

The Elders Chair in Honor of Brother Blue expanded to The Elders' Circle and Awards

"Whoever is ignorant of his roots, his intellect has vanished. Whoever does not know his place of origin, his honor has collapsed." ~ A Scholar of Old Mali - 14th Century

S. Bunjo Butler

S. Bunjo Butler
Co-founder and 1st President Affiliate Griots' Circle of Maryland
Zora Neale Hurston Award Winner, Life Member

Executive Director Position Established

Positions Held: Adopt-A-Teller Director; Festival Director; President Griots' Circle of Maryland

"A child doesn't belong to the father or mother; a child belongs to the ancestors." ~ African proverb

Cheryl Sparkle Mosley

Cheryl Sparkle Mosley

Presidents' Round Table Initiated; New Website Established (; Festival Preview Stage Established

Positions Held: Festival Director; Newsletter Editor

"Do not look where you fell, but where you slipped." ~ African proverb

Barbara Eady

Barbara Eady
Co-Founder Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers
Brother Blue Circle of Elders, Life Member, Zora Neale Hurston Award Winner

Publication of NABS 1st Anthology: Sayin' Somethin'; Katrina Fund Established

Positions Held: Secretary; Membership Committee Chair; Newsletter Editor; Festival Director; President Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers

"If you want to buy some cloth, go to the weaver, if you want a hoe, ax or knife, then go to the blacksmith.  But if you want to know the history of the people, you must go to the Griots." ~  Foday Musa Suso

Dylan Pritchett

Dylan Pritchett
Zora Neale Hurston Award Winner, Life Member

Akawabaa Gathering Established; Linda Goss Enshrinement Established; First Master Classes & Zora Neale Hurston Series; 25th Festival & Conference Milestone; Love Circle renamed Mother Mary Love Circle; Preview Stage renamed the Anansi Stage

Positions Held: Sayin' Somethin' Editorial Committee Chair and Editor; Festival Director

"Wisdom is the principle thing; therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting get understanding." ~ Proverbs 4:7


Vanora Franklin Legaux
2009 -2010
Brother Blue Circle of Elders, Gold Life Member, Linda Jenkins Brown Nia  Award Winner

Positions Held: Secretary; Festival Director; Public Relations Chair, Newsletter Editor; Executive Director

"Do not let what you cannot do tear from your hands what you can." ~ Ashanti


Akbar Imhotep   (Ancestor)

Positions Held: Public Relations Chair; Fund Development Chair; President, Kuumba Storytellers

"The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching a goal. The tragedy of life is having no goal to reach for." - Benjamin E. Mays


MaryAnn Harris, Ph.D
Life Member

Annual Storytelling Contest established; 1st Professional Webinar conducted; Fireside Chat initiated; Products & Development, Education and Legacy Committees established; Redesign of Website; NABS Blog launched; Youth Awards renamed Baba Jamal Koram Harambee Youth Award; Linda Jenkins Brown Nia Service Award established

Positions Held: Secretary; Chair Mama Linda Enshrinement Committee; Festival Director; President Cleveland Association of Black Storytellers

"Se Wotra Dua No A Wobehu Ahemfie" (When you pass the tree you will see the palace.) ~ Ghana


Karen Abdul-Malik
"Queen Nur"

Gold Life Member

Positions Held:  Board Member; Membership Chair; Adopt-A-Teller Director; President Keepers of the Culture, Inc. 

Headquarters at National Great Blacks in Wax Museum established, Mother Mary Carter Smith Day proclaimed February 10, August established as Founders' Month, NABS featured at PANAFEST in Ghana West Africa,  Awarded NEA Challenge America, Nora Roberts Foundation and Lois Lenski Covey Grants, Awarded McGraw Hill Education Foundation book grants, Established Awards & Scholarship and Tradition & Protocol Committees,  1st MENU (Monthly News Update) andThe Fourteenth (Presidential Monthly Newsletter) published, 1st On-line Spread the Word Newsletter published, NABS Care initiated, Position of Financial Operations Manager secured, Sankofa Intergenerational Oral History Project implemented, NABS featured performers at Grand Opening of National African American Museum of Cultural and Heritage on the Freedom Sounds Stage, National Collegiate Affiliate Program established, One Story At A Time online project launched, Virtual Wall of Remembrance in honor of Ancestors implemented, Partnerships established with NSN and the State Department Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, 1st Resource Guide published on website, Language, Literacy and Lore Project launched.

 “Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.”  ~ Rumi