About Vanessa

Griot | Storyteller | Fiber Artist | Writer | Actor

gri·ot noun gri·ot \ ˈgrē-ˌō, GrEO \

1. any of a class of musician-entertainers of western Africa who performances include histories and genealogies

Vanessa johnson - noun/van - essa/ jon sun

1. Griot. Storyteller.

I am a Griot, a Teller of Tales! I Tell through my story performances, one-woman shows, mixed media quilts, plays, short stories, and I sing tales with my storytelling band, Matie Massie!

I tell traditional tales from Africa, from African-American culture, and from the African Diaspora. My tales of Social Justice include the Voices of the Enslaved and of Abolitionists who fought against slavery in the United States.

I lend my voice to the Diverse Activists of the Women's Rights Movement and of the Civil Rights Movement.

I Tell Earth -Justice Tales and share biographical tales of living as an African-American Woman in the U.S. and part-time in Ghana.

My storytelling band Matie Masie (Twi for “I listen, I understand.”) tells and sings stories to original music, rooted in African American musical traditions; Spirituals, Gospel, Jazz, R&B, and Hip Hop. We collaborate with writers to turn their work into sung performance.