Meet the 6 Storytellers behind our February 27, 2021 Virtual Livestream Storytelling Show, Black Lives Living: Dr. Raymond Christian, Michael D. McCarty, Shirlee Smith, Lynne Jordan, Kory May, and Melanie McFarland.
Ray identifies as Black and uses the pronouns he/him.
Ray is a retired Army Paratrooper, Combat veteran, Doctor of Education, Fulbright Specialist and an Expert in Education and Storytelling Narrative. He is also a former adjunct professor teaching African American History and Storytelling at Appalachian State University.
His stories have appeared in Reader’s Digest’s 2016 Best Stories in America and in 2017's American Hero's edition.
As a competitive storyteller, Ray is a 12 time Moth Story Slam Champion, and winner of the 2016 National Storytelling Festival Story Slam. His stories have been featured on the “Moth Radio Hour”, “Snap Judgment”, “Back Story Radio”, “Spooked”, “Story Collider” and “Risk” podcasts.
He resides in the remote, mountains of Watauga County, NC where he hosts and produces the podcast What’s Ray Saying.
My mother read and told me stories. I began formerly telling stories in high school in the 60’s when I discovered amazing stories of Black history and culture that weren’t taught in schools. In 1992 I discovered the world of professional storytelling, and I’ve been telling stories and teaching storytelling around the country and around the world ever since.
I specialize in stories of African and African-American history and culture, multi-cultural stories, etc. Since 2014 I’ve worked in California prisons as part of the Arts In Corrections program teaching inmates how to find, develop and tell their stories. My life has been one heaven of a story: Student activist, Black Panther, US Army martial arts instructor, acupuncturist, world traveler, spiritual seeker, construction worker, storyteller, husband, father, crazy friend. Never a dull moment! I LOVE my life;-)
National Storytelling Network /NSN
In a city brimming with classic blues and jazz voices, Lynne Jordan’s voice stands out as vocalist, bandleader, solo performer and storyteller. Drawing upon her own personal stories gleaned from 59 years of living, her experiences are always poignant, often funny and always accompanied by a song.
Born in Dayton, OH in a blue collar loving home she was sent to all white schools (imagine the wealth of material there) and Northwestern University where she began crafting her voice for singing. Mother was born a slave and her grandfather was a revered preacher and entrepreneur who escaped a lynch mob under the clever protection of his mother.
Jordan has performed her works at numerous Live lit shows in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Moscow and Paris. Because she is a popular entertainer in Chicago, she has honed her storytelling skills with every song, in every concert and event And in a solo show with music called “A Great Big Diva.”
Melanie McFarland is the TV Critic for Salon.com. Her work has appeared in Variety, RollingStone.com, The Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Oregonian, Chicago Tribune, Geekwire, Rotten Tomatoes and Parade Magazine, as well as the anthology The Women of David Lynch. She is based in Seattle, WA.
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