The Kennedy Center

Oba William King


Oba William King is also known as The Poetic Storyteller and he is founder of JUSTUSarts Educational Entertainment–Created in S.B. California and developed in Chicago, Il since 1991. He is an Illinois Arts Council fellowship award recipient and former Urban Gateways“artist in residence” and Illinois Humanities Council “ROAD” scholar. A motivator and an educator with extensive national Storytelling, theater and some television credits.

Born in Greenville, SC while his father served in the armed forces. Oba recently has returned from his birth city, where he presented the inaugural production of historically significant African Abolitionist: Denmark Vesey.

Oba William King has performed in, and directed numerous presentations and educational workshops designed to introduce students to the power of the spoken word and the magic of literature. Oba is innovative, energetic, professional and dedicated. During the past five years his programs have had long lasting, positive effects on school age youth, their parents and community members. His interactive performances, storytelling, drama workshops and lectures involve participants in a stimulating variety of self-image, self-esteem building activities. Programs are designed to celebrate diversity.

Oba is an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship Award Recipient in Traditional Folk Arts and a Gwendolyn Brooks Hands on Stanza’s award recipient. He has been a featured artist on WTTW television, WBEZ, and at the DuSable Museum of African American History. Theatrical credits include his one man show, Breaking Chains, at Beatrice Community College, Beatrice, Nebraska; Sound of a Voice, Halsted Theatre, Chicago, Illinois; and his award-winning lead male acting performance in Louie and Ophelia, eta Theatre, Chicago, Illinois.

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Watch Past Performances

Video 11/13/2015: National Association of Black Storytellers presents Family Night: Storytelling Rejuvenation

In many African traditions storytelling was the foundation of historical and cultural preservation. Today, AFAM storytellers are keeping that foundation strong. Come hear two of the nation’s best, Charlotte Blake Alston and Oba William King, energize and rejuvenate the storyteller in you with Family Night: Storytelling Rejuvenation. Traditional and contemporary stories come alive with drumming, rhythm, singing, and audience participation in this event designed for the whole village—young and old!

Oba WIlliam King