"Spoken Word" .

Essay by spokenwordCollege, UndergraduateA-, April 2003

download word file, 4 pages 4.0

Spoken Word"

Specific Purpose:To inform my audience about Spoken Word, its history, and its place in today's society.

Central Idea: Spoken Word is an age- old art form of expression through the use of performance poetry.


I.Sit back. Relax. Visualize. I want to take you back into another time... an era.

A.The 1920's a period called the Harlem Renaissance....

1.You're in a coffee house, the lights are dimmed, and you sit by candlelight.

2.Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald play softly in the background.

3.You are now enjoying the Poetry readings of Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brookes, or Sterling Brown.

B.Now, relax. It is 1952

1.Post WWII, there is a new poetry scene referred to as the Beats.

2. You could be in the coffee house, or at the city bookstore playing Coltrane's My Favorite Things, while waiting for the poetry hip cats, cool cats, and daddios collectively referred to as the beatniks.

C.Relax, the year is 1970

1.It is the Black power movement.

2.You're at a Black Panther Party meeting, the bongo's are playing as you listen to the Revolutionary based poems of Amiri Baraka and the Last Poets.

D.Relax, visualize. It is now the 1990's.

1.The Spoken Word/ poetry scene has resurfaced.

2.It's the same, but it's different.

3.Coffee houses have become mainstream and movies in the likes of Love Jones are popularizing the poetry scene.

II.As you now see, Spoken Word shows its face throughout the generations.

III.As a poet myself, I've come to enjoy the performance of Spoken Word, and have attended many coffee house readings.

IV.Tonight, I would like to share with you the meaning of spoken word, a brief history of Spoken Word, and where it is today.

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