You have found me and I am pleased to find you here at Ancestor House. I welcome you. I am Camille Yarbrough and this is the house in which I was born and which inspires my creative work. You see, I am Jelimuso, a Griot, a storyteller to my soul. It is not a part I chose to play. Oh, no, it is a given role. Like, when a red almost round, ripe thing falls from an apple tree, apple is it’s name? Well, it was the same when little African me fell into life from the ancient African tree our creator didn’t give me any say either about the part I was designed to play.
Thank you for Coming to Ancestor House
Naa Camille Yarbrough
Naanana Camille Yarbrough
Our great creator put a love inside me
to inspire move and guide me
then took me through changes and changes
the creator lifted me up
threw me down
turned me this way
turned me all around
until it was clear
that I was born to be
a story teller
a spell un speller
a Griot sister woman
born to grasp the mystery and fling it from our history
reborn to tell the story
of the Great African Family
It is long story
I go deep
I tell it in song, poetry, monologues, with photographs and videos.
I tell praise stories, blues stories
I tell of memories and visions, of weakness and strength, good times, bad times,
of things past and of things to come.
It ain’ an easy story
ain’ always pleasy
sometimes it is scary
but it is absolutely necessary
to tell it.
Because of who I am and what I am
that is what I do
I tell it to the east
I tell it to the west
But, first I tell it to the ones I love best
that is you.
As an extension of her creative and activist self, Yarbrough turned to writing in the 1970’s. Her published works have appeared in The New York Times,…
Camille Yarbrough is an award-winning performance artist, author, and cultural activist. Camille Yarbrough’s body of work spans over five decades
See some of Nana Camille Yarbrough’s photos and videos from her cable tv show and other appearances
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Ancestor House is a long-running weekly local cable television show on Manhattan Neighborhood Network in New York City
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