FREE with museum admission
FREE for Members
1905 Building, North Galleries
On select Sundays during We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85, the Albright-Knox will host conversations inspired by the exhibition led by local women of color, including artists, activists, educators, and more. This Sunday's talk will feature storyteller Sharon Jordan Holley. Learn More and View Full Schedule
About the Speaker
Sharon Jordan Holley is a storyteller and retired librarian in Buffalo, New York, who hails from High Springs, Florida. She is a founding and performing member of Spin-A-Story-Tellers of Western New York and co-founder of Tradition Keepers: Black Storytellers of Western New York. She is also a member of the National Storytelling Network and a Life Member of the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc., where she has served as a past Board Member and as Coordinator of the Resources Table at the National Festival of Black Storytelling. In 2009, Holley received the Zora Neale Hurston Award from the National Association of Black Storytellers, the Association’s highest award given for excellence in storytelling. She is also a member of the Brother Blue Elders Circle (2013) and won the first NABS Storytelling Board Game with Sandra Williams Bush. She came in first place in the NABS Storytelling Contest in 2014 and second place in 2016. She occasionally performs with Karima Amin as “We All Storytellers.”
Her storytelling experience has taken her throughout Western New York and to many other areas of the country, where she has performed at libraries, schools, community events, colleges, and other venues. Her publications include “African American History Rap,” anthologized in Talk that Talk: An Anthology of African American Storytelling by Linda Goss and Marian Barnes (Simon and Schuster, 1989) and in The African American Book of Values edited by Steven Barboza (Doubleday, 1998). Her retelling of “Stagecoach Mary” is included in Many Voices: True Tales from America’s Past by the National Storytelling Association (National Storytelling Press, 1995). Her chant, “S-T-O-R-Y” and traditional telling of the story, “Why Lizards Don’t Hop” are anthologized in Sayin’ Somethin’: Stories from the National Association of Black Storytellers edited by Linda Goss, Dylan Pritchett and Caroliese Frink Reed (NABS, 2006).
In addition to her storytelling performances, Holley presents workshops on Kwanzaa, Family Storytelling, African American History, and African American Literature. She serves on the Board of the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier, where she has been a member since 1977, and is also President of the Michigan Street Preservation Corporation, which operates the Nash House Museum. She is also a member of Daughters of Creative Sound, an African American women’s drum and percussion group. She participates in numerous professional and community organizations.
Sharon is married to Kenneth Holley. Together they are the owners of “Zawadi Books” and the Storytelling Resource Center in Buffalo. They are the parents of three daughters and five grandchildren.