I’ve Known Rivers

I’ve Known Rivers (IKR): The MoAD Stories Project is a collection of first voice narratives from people of African descent.

This oral histories program is designed to collect, document, publish, produce and archive personal narratives about people of African descent in our community and around the world.

In Africa, it is said that when a griot, or oral historian, dies, “a library has burned to the ground.” Museum of the African Diaspora started this project to honor the fabled tradition of the griot, and to document stories of the African Diaspora. In light of ongoing migrations of people of African descent, such as the movement of people after Hurricane Katrina, IKR’s story-collecting mission takes on even greater significance.

I’ve Known Rivers: The MoAD Story Project has a similar vision to the historic WPA Federal Writers’ Project (1936 -1940), which archived thousands of items, including essays, oral testimony, folklore and authentic narratives of ex-slaves about life during slavery.

Our latest collection, Volume 5, is an effort to preserve the stories from early African American pioneers in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood — and pass on the legacy of self-determination to a new generation.