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Sharon Jordan Holley

She was born in High Springs, Fl. She is accomplished in the area of Education.
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Sharon Jordan Holley is a native of High Springs, Florida. She and her husband Kenneth have three daughters and five grandchildren. She is a graduate of Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida. She also is a 1970 graduate of Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in English/Education. In 1972, she received a Master of Science degree in Library Science from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.

Sharon was employed as a Librarian with the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library from 1972 until her retirement. She served as Coordinator of Urban Services in the Department of Extension Services including supervision of Buffalo's fifteen city branches and outreach activities in Urban Services. Before this position, she served as Head of the Children's Department of the Central Library, Branch Manager in several of the city branch libraries, and as an Assistant Librarian. Sharon holds membership in the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and works locally with the African American Librarians of Western New York.

Her gift of storytelling has led to many opportunities. She is a founding member of Spin-A-Story Tellers of Western New York, Co-coordinator of Tradition Keepers: Black Storytellers of Western New York, and performs as We All Storytellers with Karima Amin. Sharon served on the Board of the National Association of Black Storytellers, Inc. where she is still a member and has been a featured teller and workshop presenter at the national festival. She also has been a member of the National Storytelling Network. Her storytelling piece: "African American History Rap" was published in Talk that Talk: An Anthology of Black Storytelling, edited by Linda Goss and Marian Barnes (Simon and Schuster, 1989), and in The African American Book of Values, edited by Steven Barboza (Doubleday, 1998).

A story from her repertoire, "Stagecoach Mary" was published in Many Voices: True Tales from America's Past (National Storytelling Press, 1995). Sharon has presented storytelling programs and workshops throughout Western New York and other places in the United States. Her chant, "S-T-O-R-Y" and traditional telling of the story, "Why Lizards Don't Hop" are anthologized in Sayin' Somethin': Stories from the National Association of Black Storytellers edited by Linda Goss, Dylan Pritchett and Caroliese Frink Reed (NABS, 2006).

As a student of history, Sharon serves on the Board and is a past President of the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier. She works with the Association to chair the annual Carter G. Woodson Essay Contest, co-edit the newsletter, "Historically Speaking", and serves on the Committee for the African American Ancestral Heritage Tour. She has served as the convener for the Coalition of African and African American Historical Groups where she directed the first African American Historical Brochure for Western New York. In 1999, she was appointed to serve as a Commissioner for the New York State Freedom Trail.

Sharon and her husband, Kenneth, owned and operated Harambee Books and Crafts in the City of Buffalo for twenty-one years. In addition to having a well-stocked store of books and materials by and about people of African descent, the store was a cultural meeting place for African American authors and resources in the community. After a hiatus of several years, Sharon and Kevin re-opened their bookstore, now named Zawadi Books in 2017. Sharon and Kenneth were co-coordinators of the Buffalo Kwanzaa Committee, planning citywide celebrations of the African American Holiday of Kwanzaa for twenty-one years. The bookstore also was an organizing stop for African American study groups and citywide Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey celebrations. Sharon and Ken also operate the Storytelling Resource Center in Buffalo.

Sharon also is a member of the Buffalo Genealogical Society of the African Diaspora and the Advisory Committee of the Monroe Fordham Regional History Center at Buffalo State College. She works with numerous organizations, such as Juneteenth of Buffalo, Inc., Buffalo Quarters Historical Society, and the Association for the Study of Classical African Civilizations. She is also President of the Michigan Street Preservation Corporation, which operates the Nash House Museum. In addition, she is a founding member of Daughters of Creative Sound. Sharon Holley has received numerous awards and recognition for her service to the community. For this she gives thanks to God for the nurturing guidance of her parents, the late Johnnie and Rebecca Jordan of High Springs, Florida.