Patch Work


The Detroit Association of Black Storytellers, now known as DABS, came about
because Amy Jackson and Anita Timbers, storytellers from network
and Detroit Story League, discussed the idea of bringing the National Association
of Black Storytellers to Detroit. To undertake this tremendous job, they decided to
form a group of black story tellersfrom various sources, such as:

  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Libraries
  • Other storytelling groups for the purpose of forming an affiliate to the National Association of Black Storytellers.

The first organized meeting of this group, was held at the home of
Jennie Crittendon, 19560 Afton Rd. in Detroit, Michigan
on October 31, 1991. Members present at this historic, landmark meeting were:

  • Amy Jackson, selected first president and Elaine Gregory, selected first secretary

Others present at this meeting were:

  • Gloria Lamb
  • Alma Greer
  • Sylvia Brown
  • Dr. Mildred Stennis
  • Melvin Hatcher
  • Mozelle Hunter
  • Melvin Jolly
  • Dr. Barbara Coulter
  • JoAnn Lee
  • Chester and Clamah Stewart
  • Artemese Green
  • Emma Foster
  • Dorothy Baker
  • Jennie Crittendon

DABS, had its first installation of officers and celebration of its new charter and charter members on, Saturday, June 27,1992, in the Historical Museum on Woodward Ave. in Detroit, Michigan.

DABS hosted their first Storytelling Concert in 19~. The concert; “IN THE TRADITION, FESTIVALof BLACK STORYTELLING”, was held in Cobo Hall, in Detroit, Michigan. DABS, through the efforts of Dorothy Jones, Treasurer, was granted a 501 (c), (3), non-profit status in 1995.

DABS and its members have won many rewards for storytelling. DABS, has
donated scholarships, supported the Museum of African American History, told stories at various cultural events, sponsored trips to Black Historical sites, and the National Association of Black Storytellers Conferences. DABS, continues to honor our ancestors through keeping the oral tradition alive, by telling stories in churches, libraries, schools and cultural events.

President, Karen Lemmons, Immediate Past President
Carol Sayers Puryear, Ph.D

Past Presidents:
Lela McFarlin* (Deceased)
Nkenge Abi
Miriam E. Solomon
Alma Greer
Gloria Lamb
Amy Jackson