Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives & Cultures

Griot tree

Griot: A central figure in many West African cultures. Historically, the griot held many functions, including community historian, cultural critic, indigenous artist and collective spokesperson.

The Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives and Cultures provides faculty and student intellectual and creative engagement with the interdisciplinary investigation of the cultures, histories, narratives, peoples, geographies and arts of Africa and the African diaspora.

Our mission statement at the Bucknell Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives and Cultures is a collaborative enterprise devoted primarily to the interdisciplinary exploration of the aesthetic, artistic, and scholarly cultural products and intellectual currents of historical and contemporary Africana communities. The Griot Institute embraces narrative as a thematic and theoretical framework for its projects and programming.

Explore the Griot Institute further in the Griot Booklet linked below.

Cymone Fourshey, acting director, and Michelle Lauver, program manager, remind the Griot community to take time to reflect on what is happening in the nation and to be aware that the institute will continue to develop programming that addresses critical issues that arise in society around Black lives and cultures. They encourage community members to look to the Griot as a resource and think about the contributions and partnerships that might be developed together.

Read more from Cymone Fourshey and Michelle Lauver

View the Griot's resources on race, racism and resistance in the African American experience

Carmen Gillespie

Remembering Carmen Gillespie

Many of us in the Bucknell community were deeply affected by the loss of Carmen Gillespie, professor of English and director of the Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives & Cultures. The outpouring of emotion on campus and beyond is a direct reflection of Carmen’s impact on her colleagues and students. A celebration of Carmen's life was held on Sept. 28, 2019.

African dancers

Events & Series

Every year, the Griot Institute offers the Bucknell community a series that focuses on a question or issue of concern central to Africana Studies.

Explore Griot events  

Learn more about the Spring Series

Martin Luther King Jr. Week

A weeklong celebration featuring​ ​lectures, discussions, community dinners and a charitable gift drive.

Get involved in MLK Week 

Griot Project Book Series

Consists of scholarly monographs and creative works devoted to the interdisciplinary exploration of African America.

Learn more about the series

Projects and Undergraduate Research

The Griot provides rich opportunities for students to pursue scholarship related to the institute's mission.

Read about their work

Bucknell in the Caribbean

Study abroad with the Griot. Through readings, lectures, field trips, volunteer projects, attendance and participation in cultural performances, ethnographic interviews, as well as analytical reflections on their experiences, ​Bucknell in the Caribbean ​provides first-hand information about the literatures, histories, and cultures of the Caribbean.

Griot Institute for the Study of Black Lives & Cultures


Hildreth-Mirza Hall, Second Floor