Pat Stepney, the ‘Mother of Storytelling’

Storyteller Pat Stepney shares a story

Pat Stepney, the ‘Mother of Storytelling’
February 28
00:30 2019

By Nikki Baldwin

Pat “Mardia” Stepney, known to many as Ma Pat, Aunt Pat or Ms. Pat, is recognized for her commanding, soothing voice when sharing a story. Stepney has been a storyteller all of her life.

“I grew up during a time when there was no TV, just radio. The older people would tell stories to the children and then the children would tell stories to each other.  The practice of sharing is how I began storytelling.”

Stepney’s passion for storytelling is obvious and passion is her driving force as she shares her unique gift with so many in the Winston-Salem area. “I love storytelling because for one thing, it is my passion. I always loved children. I always had someone’s baby, when I was old enough to do so, sitting on my hip. I loved making the babies and children smile by sharing a story with them. Storytelling is not just my passion, it is like a spirit connecting, it is just love. Overall, it is a spiritual thing for me.”

The North Carolina Association of Black Storytellers (NCABS) honored Stepney on Nov. 3 with a Founder’s Appreciation plaque for her vision and establishment of the organization. As a member of the National Association of Black Storytellers, Stepney was inspired to create NCABS.

She believes storytelling is important to the African-American community in helping everyone learn about their history and culture. Stepney expressed her concern about the unfinished work that is lacking from curriculums in today’s schools. “Missing in today’s schools is the lack of knowledge about the culture and history of African-Americans. There is only one short month celebrating and teaching about the culture and history of African-Americans. Unfortunately, it does not include a lot of information about the culture and history. Children can barely name key figures who contributed to African-American history. The children farther up north know about their history and culture, some of the children join the storyteller’s association. Back in the day, teachers taught about the history and contributions of African-Americans; nowadays, it is lacking in today’s school system.”

Storytelling has such a powerful influence. Stepney believes and understands the gift storytelling plays in her life. “In thinking about storytelling, I just want to continue sharing stories that encourage people to be free and who they want to be. People want to be loved and know someone cares. One can do that by telling your own story. I just want to be me, whatever God places in my spirit, to reach and touch someone through my stories, potentially healing broken hearts, truly inspires and gives me hope. Overall, my passion and love for all of mankind inspires me to continue sharing my stories with so many.”

Stepney’s gift of her captivating stories can be heard at this year’s National Black Theatre Festival where she will perform at two sessions during the festival.

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors