In residence September 3 - September 6, 2018
Raymond Christian is a storyteller, whose storytelling began with his role as reader for his illiterate parents at age 10. He escaped the urban slums of Richmond, VA by joining the United States Army at 17. Here he served in a number of capacities and assignments at home, abroad during peace time and in combat, primarily as an Infantryman and Paratrooper, where he retired after 20 years of service. Following retirement the combat-decorated veteran went back to school and earned a BS in History, MA in Public History, and an EdS in Education Leadership. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in Education, where his dissertation research explores the relationship between parental behavior and academic success among African American students. Ray also teaches part time at Appalachians State University, the courses “The Souls of Black Folks”, an examination of African American social culture, and “Life in the Narrative” a course that explores the historic and contemporary use of storytelling and oral history in America. Ray has shared his stories on the Moth Main Stage in the US and Canada. His stories have appeared in Readers Digest (One of the Best Stories in America Edition) and have been featured on the Moth Radio Hour and Snap Judgment. In addition, as a competitive storyteller Ray is a 7 time Moth story Slam Champion, and the winner of the 2016 National Storytelling Festival Story Slam. Ray also has his own podcast “What’s Ray Saying”. Ray hopes to continue crafting stories that can serve the cause of cultural enlightenment and social justice by using oral expression to present the human experience in a compelling and memorable way. Ray currently resides in Boone, North Carolina.