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culture bearer pathways

A culture bearer is a person who is deeply rooted in the layers of their heritage, to the degree that they are confident in transmitting the eligible parts of their culture to others. With this program, we seek to encourage self-guided and self-paced learning; the Culture Bearer Pathway (CBP) is not bound to an already established, formal, gate-kept curriculum, which means that we hope you will follow the threads that excite you!


The CPB was created with the intention of honoring the creative scholar in each of us, understanding that education does not need to look one specific way to be legitimate.


The vision for this program is that it will eventually include pathways for many dimensions of one's heritage; our inaugural program teaches learners about the ways in which contributions of Black Americans are foundational to the development of America's cultural and economic identity.

Black American Music (1619 - 1940​​)

"I love

the resource packets!

Super comprehensive, lots of directions

to explore

and different ways

to engage.

Really appreciate

the mix of articles, audio & video."

-2022 CBP Participant

The pilot program for this resource ran via Patreon for the entirety of 2022, meeting once or twice a month (virtually) to engage with culture bearers and discuss what they were learning with the group.

At this time, the resource packets are available for DIY study, and they include links to videos from the 2022 cohort—so you'll get a chance to listen in on the conversations that the inaugural cohort had as well as hearing directly from the 2022 culture bearers!

This is a DIY curriculum, meaning we provide a collection of resources for each theme (articles, podcasts, videos, books and playlists), but our hope is that you'll be inspired to dig deeper into the things that you find compelling, and create a learning path that really resonates for you.

Volume 1:

  • Work Songs & Spirituals

  • Black String Bands

  • Minstrelsy

  • Cowboys, Folk Songs & Songsters

  • Country Blues

  • Classic Blues

Volume 2:

  • Jug Bands

  • Ragtime

  • Gospel Quartets

  • Creole Music

  • Electric Blues

  • Rest is Resistance

Native Music & Storytelling

The Rhapsody Project was awarded a grant to fund the development of a Native Music & Storytelling CBP program! Indigenous artists are working on this project now — watch this space for updates.

Yiddish Music & Heritage

Coming in 2023!

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