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Beyond the Farm: Harriett Jernigan and the Art of Storytelling

woman reading books to school children

One thing you might not know about PWR Lecturer Harriett Jernigan if you haven't had a chance to talk to her, is her passion for storytelling. Since 2015, she’s been sharing her stories with larger audiences, hosting a bilingual history podcast and becoming a Grand Slam finalist at The Moth

In February, after returning to California, she took her love of storytelling back to the Bay Area stage, performing in 'A Funny Thing Happened...', a storytelling show hosted by David Nihill monthly at The Set Up, a comedy venue in San Francisco.  "As always, it was great to connect with the audience, and I learned a lot from the comedians in the line-up," Harriett commented on the experience. It was her first time performing alongside professional comedians.

Also last month, she entertained a smaller audience as well: students in a third-grade class at Chabot Elementary School in Oakland.  As part of the school's Black History Month activities, Harriett read the class Delivering Justice, by Jim Haskins. The book tells the story of W.W. Law, the civil rights activist who led the Great Savannah Boycott. “I chose the book because it speaks to core values I emphasize in the classroom, building community, creating equity, and taking risks.”

Harriett will continue storytelling online during this period of shelter-in-place and applying her experiences about connecting with audiences to her PWR classes.

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