Spoken word artist uses history to inspire local students 

Published 9:49 pm Sunday, April 14, 2019

Early April brought award-winning spoken word and hip hop artist Shaun Boothe to Polk County for a series of inspirational performances. 

Tryon Fine Arts Center’s Something Different Series presented Shaun Boothe to the student body at Polk County High School and in a public performance. Boothe’s energetic, engaging presentation featured Unauthorized Biographies of historical figures told through his original hip hop songs. 

“We celebrate history’s greatest leaders,” explained Boothe. “Why? Because when we see what has been done, we believe in what can be done.” 

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Boothe delivered inspirational stories from the lives of historical figures ranging from Muhammed Ali and Malala Yousafzai, to Jimi Hendrix and Nelson Mandela. 

Boothe’s performance of Unauthorized Biographies for Polk County High Schoolers was arranged in collaboration with Polk County Schools. Boothe encouraged the students to consider what legacy they would leave behind, as he examined the lives of historic figures through hip hop. 

“What’s your story?” asked Booth to the auditorium of 14 to 18 year olds. “How do you want to be remembered?” 

Later that evening, Boothe shared additional biographies with an enthusiastic crowd at a public performance at Tryon Fine Arts Center. After bringing the audience of all ages to their feet with stories of Oprah Winfrey and Bob Marley, Boothe finished the evening with a friendly question and answer session delving into his personal struggles and successes, and goals for the series. 

Boothe explained that he would like to reach more students and audiences across the country with his inspirational biographies. 

“That’s why I wrote these songs. When it comes to great accomplishments, achieving our big goals, and creating change in this crazy, upside down world that we live in, celebrating heroes of the past helps us achieve our dreams for the future.”   

Boothe was presented by Tryon Fine Arts Center’s Something Different Series, with support from the Kirby Endowment Fund of Polk County Community Foundation to bring innovative events to the community. 

1) Polk County High School sophomore Destiny, Shaun Boothe, TFAC Executive Director Marianne Carruth, Polk County Schools Curriculum Supervisor Ronette Dill, and Polk County High School Assistant Principal Michelle Travieso 

2) Spoken word artist Shaun Boothe asks his audience to consider what their legacy will be. 

3) Shaun Boothe explores the Unauthorized Biographies of notable historic figures with original hip hop songs. 

4) Shaun Boothe performs for 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade through a partnership with Tryon Fine Arts Center and Polk County Schools. 


submitted by Michelle Fleming