The Detroit Association of Black Storytellers, now know as DABS, came about because Amy Jackson and Anita Timbers, storytellers from Network and Detroit Story League, discussed the idea of bringing the National Association of Black Storytellers to Detroit.  To undertake this tremendous, job, they decided to form a group of black storytellers from various sources, such as:

  • Schools
  • Churches
  • Libraries
  • Other storytelling groups for the purpose o forming an affiliate to the National Association of Black Storytellers.

The first organized meeting of this group, was held at the home of Jennie Crittendon in Detroit Michigan, on October 31, 1991.

Any Jackson was selected as the first president and Elaine Gregory as the first secretary.

The following members were present at this historical meeting (in alphabetical order):

  • Dorothy Baker
  • Sylvia Brown
  • Dr. Barbara Coulter
  • Jennie Crittendon
  • Emma Foster
  • Artemese Green
  • Alma Greer
  • Melvin Hatcher
  • Mozelle Hunter
  • Melvin Jolly
  • Gloria Lamb
  • JoAnn Lee
  • Dr. Mildred Stennis
  • Chester and Clamah Stewart

DABS had its first installation of offices and celebration of its new charter and charter members on Saturday, June 27, 1992, in the Historical Museum on Woodward Ave., Detroit, Michigan.

DABS first concert was "IN THE TRADITION, FESTIVAL of BLACK STORYTELLING", and held at Cobo Hall, Detroit, Michigan.  Through the efforts of Dorothy Jones, Treasurer, DABS was granted a 501 (c) (3), non-profit status in 1995.

DABS and its members have won many rewards for storytelling, donated scholarships, supported the Museum of African American History, told stories at various cultural events, sponsored trips to Black Historical sites, and the National Association of Black Storytellers Conferences. 

DABS continues to honor their ancestors by keeping the oral tradition alive, telling stories in churches, libraries, schools and cultural events.