Rev. Andrew Baskin
2023 National Association of Black Storytellers: Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowship
Madison County, Kentucky
Year of Award
Grant or Fellowship
Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowships
Rev. Andrew Baskin has dedicated his life to education and storytelling, leaving an indelible mark on generations of students and communities in the Appalachian region. With a career spanning over five decades, his journey through academia and the art of storytelling has been nothing short of extraordinary.
A Lifetime of Teaching
Since January 1972, Rev. Baskin has been a college educator, nurturing minds at various institutions across the Appalachian region. His teaching journey has taken him to Ferrum College in Ferrum, Virginia; Berea College in Berea, Kentucky; and Simmons College of Kentucky in Louisville, Kentucky. In each of these esteemed institutions, he has passionately imparted knowledge in African or Black History, American History, and African History.
The Power of Storytellers
Rev. Baskin's appreciation for the art of storytelling was nurtured by the educators and mentors he encountered throughout his life. Notably, individuals at Charles M. Hall School in Alcoa, Tennessee, and the Berea College History Department introduced him to the legacy of Dr. Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History. During his tenure as the Director of the Black Cultural Center and Interracial Education Program at Berea College, he played a pivotal role in hosting the National Association of Black Storytellers. For thirty-two years, he served as the Editor of "The Griot: The Journal of African American Studies" for the Southern Conference of African American Studies.
Rooted in Appalachia
Rev. Baskin's life has been intertwined with the Appalachian region, where he has always lived. His stories are deeply rooted in the Appalachian experience, and he has shared them primarily in college settings. Through lectures, discussions, readings, and research, he inspires students to not only discover the stories of others but also to embrace and share their own narratives, whether from their families, communities, or organizations.
Passing on the Legacy
Rev. Baskin's impact extends beyond the classroom. His former students are now educators themselves, teaching at colleges, universities, and K-12 public schools. Together, they work in diverse communities, bridging gaps of ethnicity, race, class, gender, and religion. This commitment to mentorship and education is a cornerstone of Rev. Baskin's philosophy.
Preserving Untold Stories
Rev. Baskin firmly believes in the importance of telling one's own story. He champions the idea that if individuals do not share their narratives, others will write their stories for them. In his tireless pursuit of preserving the history of Black Appalachians, he cites scholars like Dr. William Turner and the late Edward J. Cabbell as pioneers who have illuminated the contributions of African Americans to the region.
BASF Project: Dorothy Mitchell-Kincaid: The Conscience of the 13th Streets
Rev. Baskin's current project is a testament to his dedication to preserving the history of African Americans in the Appalachian region. He was awarded a 2023 Black Appalachian Storytellers Fellowship to celebrate the life and contributions of Dorothy Mitchell-Kincaid to the predominantly African American section of Alcoa, Tennessee, known as the 13 Streets. Through interviews with Mrs. Mitchell-Kincaid, her family, and friends, Rev. Baskin will create a monograph that will be shared through written documents and oral presentations, especially in Mrs. Mitchell-Kincaid's home county of Blount County, Tennessee.
Rev. Andrew Baskin's lifelong commitment to education and storytelling has not only enriched the lives of countless individuals but has also ensured that the stories of Black Appalachians are heard, cherished, and passed on to future generations.