Philadelphia's Afrocentric Storytelling Group


KOTC Logo (C) 1996 Columbus Knox


 "If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together"

African Proverb 

Since 1991, storytellers and artists of Keepers Of The Culture, Philadelphia's Afrocentric Storytelling Group has served schools and organizations throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware with quality educational cultural enriching storytelling experiences.

Individually, we have represented as Keepers Of The Culture Storytellers for communities around the world. 

Our members have performed and conducted workshops throughout America, Africa, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. 

Keepers Of The Culture artist/storytellers, offer customized storytelling, literary, educational and entertaining performance and workshops.

Thousands have enjoyed us individually and collectively in schools, organizations, festivals, museums, corporate and social gatherings. 

Enjoy our journey, join our adventures and we look forward to meeting you in person!

KOTC Officers 2020


Paul D. Best


Detria Morrison


Nashid Ali


Bernadine "Birdy" Rogers



Oni Lasana


Atiya Ola Sankofa

Ronald Carter

Our Mission Statement

Keepers Of The Culture, Inc. KOTC, or ("Khotsi") of Philadelphia is a non-profit, educational, cultural art organization which seeks to perpetuate the African and African-American oral tradition. 

We  recognize the traditional African storytellers - griot's - were the  true "Keepers  Of The Culture." The  griot's role as historians of the community helped  people maintain a strong, positive sense of self and a clear understanding of the values  of the community and the individual's role in the community. 

The storyteller/griot presence insured that the history, culture  and values  of a people would be passed on in their own words.    

We  intend to highlight, reinforce and pass on the history and culture of  African-Americans and their antecedents, to educate and nurture   individual and collective self-esteem and foster pride of culture in  our community-especially in our children. 

Our objective is to do this by offering performances, workshops, seminars,  mini-festivals and  collaborations with other cultural arts organizations and artists of  various disciplines in the Philadelphia area.  

FIHANKRA - Adinkra symbol for a house of security, safety & unity.

FIHANKRA - Adinkra symbol for a house of security, safety & unity.   


The Griots (gri'oh)

We are Poets, Historians, Advisors, Spokespersons, Diplomats,  Peace-makers, Praise-singers, Interpreters, Translators, Musicians, Composers, Teachers, Warriors, Witnesses. 

A Griot is sometimes called a Jali in Mali. 

Both men and women are griots. 


Paul D. Best, President

"Our Sun Paul"  is a professional storyteller, photographer, and an  educator. Paul recently earned his Masters in Education degree.  Congratulations Mr. Best! (for living up to your real name) 


Congratulations & Kudos!

To our beloved co-founders and past presidents; Janice "Jawara" Bishop, Wanda Gigetts & Irma Gardner-Hammond

Our well deserved recipients of the National Association of Black Storytellers' BROTHER BLUE CIRCLE OF ELDERS AWARD 2019. 



Keeper Of The Culture 

Keeper of our African culture.

I keep it through the telling

The telling of our stories.

Our Stories. Our Stories. Our Stories.

Reflecting our culture and 

The history of our People, I say

The history of our People..

Throughout the entire world

Our mission is to 


Entertain & Validate

Reinforce & Reinstate

The Truth of who WE are.





The Truth of who we are

The Truth of who we are

We are Keepers Of The Culture

(c) 2018 Wanda Gigetts, Founding Member

* * * * * * *


Keepers Of The Culture is an affiliate of NABS


The National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc.

In 2016 KOTC hosted The National Association of Black Storytellers

 34th Annual Storytelling Festival and Conference.

Swipe/scroll down for information on NABS 2020!


24/7 - 365

We support Kwanzaa principals in our community year round!


Dance! Drum! Sing! Tell A Story!

 KOTC's dynamic storytellers enrich, educate, enlighten & entertain, everyone, everywhere!

Listen up! For the finest storytelling on the planet!


The National Association of Black Storytellers Festival & Conference

"In  The Tradition..." The 38th Annual National Black Storytelling Festival  & Conference

 November 19-22, 2020

Richmond, Virginia

Griot Works - Stories In Service

Check out this great video! 

Asante Sana (thank you)...to 

Joslyn Duncan of Griot Works for organizing and capturing this memorable storytelling event in Philadelphia. Featuring Keepers Of The Culture's storytellers, musicians and artists.

Performance ? Workshop ? Event ?

Book KOTC as an ensemble or to collaborate? Questions?

 AYA the Adinkra symbol of endurance and resourcefulness. The fern is a hardy plant that can grow in difficult places. 

"An individual who wears this symbol suggests that he has endured many adversities and outlasted much difficulty." 

(Willis, The Adinkra Dictionary)

With YOU : KOTC grows!

KOTC is a non-profit organization. Your generous tax-deductible donations will fund our mission. 

Your support will also allow us to bring quality arts-in-education programs to under served schools and neighborhoods in Philadelphia and in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware.

KOTC accept checks or money orders via  KOTC  P. O. Box 15083

Philadelphia. Pennsylvania 19130.

ALSO, for your convenience feel free to securely submit your debit or credit card membership payments or a donation by clicking on the PAY PAL  button below. 

Asante Sana - Thank you!

Pay with PayPal or a debit/credit card