Interview with Lemuel LaRoche (Life the Griot), January 12, 2015

Collection: Athens Oral History Project

Dublin Core


Lemuel LaRoche, also known as a Life The Griot, is a poet, community activist, and founder of the Athens non-profit, Chess and Community. He grew up in New York, and moved to Georgia where he attended Gordon College and later transferred to the University of Georgia. In this interview, LaRoche talks about his upbringing and early influences, his experience of the intersection between race and education, his decision to study social work at the master’s level, and his growing involvement in community engagement in Athens. He discusses Dreaded Mindz and Chess and Community, two community engagement initiatives he helped to spearhead. He discusses social conditioning, structural issues that affect the African-American community in Athens, and the relationship between the University of Georgia and the community. He reflects on fatherhood and working towards creating a better future.






Oral History Item Type Metadata


Athens, Georgia


126 minutes


Lemuel LaRoche (Life the Griot) and Alexander Stephens, “Interview with Lemuel LaRoche (Life the Griot), January 12, 2015,” UGA Special Collections Libraries Oral Histories, accessed July 8, 2020,