NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Throughout February, CBSN New York is celebrating Black History Month, highlighting the achievements of African-American trailblazers and trendsetters.

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To pay tribute, we asked some spoken word artists to have their say.

One of those artists, Hayden Greene, of Brooklyn, stopped by to talk to CBSN New York’s Dana Tyler about spoken word as an art form and his message.

“Spoken word is really, when people think about spoken word, it’s where the emphasis is on how the words sound and how it’s communicated as opposed to the written word. It’s a heavy emphasis on performance. It came to a heyday in the Harlem Renaissance and with the beatniks and beat poetry and things along those lines,” Greene said.

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Greene, who is also the director of multicultural affairs at Manhattan College, says most spoken word artists have a story to tell and that is part of the reason audiences connect to it.

“People love stories. The brain loves stories. There’s an old saying that the brain loves stories so much that it tells it to itself when it’s asleep, right? Those are our dreams. And so when you get somebody up there with a particular rhythm or a particular syncopation, it’s really engaging an audience and I believe the more that we tell stories, the more realize that we have so much in common because of those stories and I think that makes for a better world,” Greene said.

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