Faith, Stories and the Experience of Black Elders

By Anthony G Reddie.
Jessica Kingsley Publishers
ISBN 1 85302 993 9

This book attempts to investigate the oral traditions of black
people of African and Caribbean origin, and identifies the ways in
which these traditions can be used to both affirm black elders
living in Britain and to educate black children.

The book starts with the historical background of the oral
traditions of black people, locating it within religious stories,
and follows it up with a resum’ of methodology and framework that
has been used by the author to gain access to the stories from
black elders. The book ends by identifying the usefulness of
storytelling in work with black elders.

For me, the book provides three important messages. First, religion
and spirituality are important aspects of the lives of black
elders; second, storytelling helps to increase the value and worth
of black elders; and third, storytelling helps black children and
young people to reclaim their cultural heritage, an important
aspect in the formation of their identity.

On the whole, the messages in Faith, Stories and the Experience of
Black Elders are important for all social care practitioners, and I
would urge practitioners, particularly those working with black
elders and black children, to use storytelling in their work.

Ratna Dutt is director, equality body REU.

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