Launch of One Life Two Cultures

On Saturday, October 14 thirty-six people from around the world joined African and Caribbean Elders in Scotland (ACES) for their Black History Month intergenerational storytelling event and the launch of their new book, One Life Two Cultures.

Storytellers ranged in age from 7 to 95, sharing stories, traditions, folk tales and poetry from Scotland, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. These included tales about characters like Anansi, the West African trickster, and how the Baobab tree came to look upside-down, as well as stories of real-life heroines like Nana Yaa Asantewaa who led the Ashanti in rebellion against British Colonialism in 1900 during the War of the Golden Stool. The storytellers told us that we should never take our good fortune for granted, that we should always share our blessings, and that reducing people and cultures to a single story robs them of their dignity. There were many stories shared by young and old during the event and one speaker, Iman, quoting Maya Angelou, reminded us, ‘We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.’

At the end of the evening, Quizmaster Kay led everyone in a Black History Month quiz with questions covering people, traditions, and events from Kenya, Cameroon, Ghana, US, UK, Nigeria, Uganda, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, and Ethiopia.

One Life Two Cultures is available to purchase for £12. Email for more details. Proceeds from book sales support the work of ACES.

The book was supported by the Scottish Civic Trust along with grants from European Heritage Days Stories (Council of Europe and European Commission) and the Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund, which is delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund. It features the stories of 15 members of ACES through 107 full-colour pages.