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Ty Gray-EL

About  Ty GrayEL

Ty GrayEL has been writing poetry since he was seven years old. 

Today he is a storytelling spoken word artist and the first recognized Poet Laureate in the 200+ year history of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. He teaches the history of our people through his poems and originally written slave narratives. He has positively affected millions using his voice to transform their lives.

Ty grew up in the first all black public housing project in America and rose from the depths of poverty, heroin addiction and incarceration to become an author, lecturer and recording artist with more than 40 years of sobriety.  


Being labeled "ineducable" as a young teen, he learned that self awareness and high self esteem are teachable, transferable skills. It is his desire to educate both young and old of the African Diaspora and remind them that they can overcome willful miseducation and accomplish what they will.


"It is an amazing thing, to see the light come on in a persons eyes when they hear something encouraging about their ancestors." says Ty.  As the creator of the 'Breath Of My Ancestors Podcast' he has witnessed this transformation thousand of times and as a result, It has become his life’s mission to turn on as many lights as possible.


Enslaved Africans rain garden

Enslaved Africans Rain Garden Project

equal justice Initiative

Equal Justice Initiative


Dr. Cheryl LaRoche

Dr. Joy DeGruy
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