Spinning African tales

Laura Sturza

Musician and storyteller Asha’s Baba has a tale or two to tell to

honor African-Americans and their place in history.

The performer said that when, in 1926, Carter G. Woodson created


Negro History Week -- precursor to African-American History Month --

he did so “to put back the pages of history that were torn out.”

“I try to show how history is interrelated throughout the world,

and the role that people of color have played,” said Baba, who will


perform Thursday at the Central Library.

One example the former Glendale resident gives is telling

audiences about the first mayor of Los Angeles, a Native Amer- ican.

But he also draws on more recent events for story ideas, such as a

mother who organized pickets against a Glendale pornography

establishment in the early 1990s, when he was a freelance writer for

the Leader with the byline Eric Cyrs.

The storyteller tours Southern California libraries, schools,


museums and private functions, and has performed for audiences of all

ages at Burbank libraries, in programs that are anything but a dry

recitation of history.

“At one point, he invited parents to come up onstage and dance,”

Burbank children’s libra- rian Ericka Carr said. “It created a very

relaxed and fun atmosphere. He draws people to him.”