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Giving Voice: The Power of Words in African American Culture

The 2009 Smithsonian Folklife Festival program Giving Voice: The Power Words in African American Culture, presented by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, showcases the many oral traditions and verbal arts that hold a special place in African American folk culture. Giving Voice focuses on the word power and word play that shape, define, and transform human experience. These cultural expressions represent a living legacy for Black Americans and ultimately for all Americans. Through the deep, rich strains of African American oral traditions, this Festival program explores and displays the vital connections between the

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