February 13, 2013 12:00AM
Bobby Norfolk discovered he was good at telling stories by making up bedtime tales for his 3-year-old son. Today, Norfolk is a nationally known performer with three Emmys to his credit.
Norfolk will share his gift for storytelling in a special Black History Month performance at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 18, in the Governors Room of the Overman Student Center on the Pittsburg State University campus. The event is free and open to the public.
For his stories, Norfolk creates characters who highlight the African-American experience and promote cultural diversity, literacy and character traits such as respect and responsibility.
“Storytelling is such a versatile art form since it gives me the opportunity to combine poetry, humor and theater into my own special package,” Norfolk said.
Norfolk began his career as a stand-up comedian at the Funny Bone, and as an actor with the St. Louis Black Rep and Imaginary Theater Company in St. Louis. He also worked 10 years at the Gateway Arch as a National Park Service Ranger.
Norfolk won three Emmy awards as the host of the CBS television show “Gator Tales.” He also hosted the Emmy-nominated series “Children’s Theater at Bobby’s House.”
In 2009, Norfolk received the national Circle of Excellence Oracle Award, an honor presented by the National Storytelling Network, which recognizes the very best storytellers in the country.
Norfolk has recorded more than 10 compact discs, many having won the prestigious Parents Choice Gold Award. He has co-written eight children’s books, and won first prize from Foreword Magazine. His book “The Moral of the Story: Folktales for Character Development” is a popular reference handbook for using story in the classroom. He is also a contributing author to “The Storytelling Classroom: Applications Across the Curriculum,” and “Literacy Development in the Storytelling Classroom.”
For more information about any Black History Month events, contact the Office of Student Diversity at 620-235-4077.