The Origins of the “Peoples Microphone”

If you happen to pass by that group of people calling themselves the 99% and heard them all shouting “Mic check!” They are not trying to do a poetry slam.

Amplified sound requires a permit in New York City for which Occupy Wall Street , an ongoing series of demonstrations in New York City based in Zuccotti Park, has applied repeatedly, and been denied, so a bullhorn is illegal to use.

But the ingenious way that organizers have overcome this handicap is by a method of call and response that amplifies the voice of one person spreading through the crowd by people repeating in rolling unison across the convergence. And it all starts with “Mic check!”

But where did the use of call and response start? In African cultures, call-and-response is a pervasive pattern of democratic participation—in public gatherings, in the discussion of civic affairs, in religious rituals, as well as in vocal and instrumental musical expression.

Today from teachers to preachers, call and response not only allows everyone to hear everything but it also unites us in understanding the speakers message. Eventhough slower then what we are use to its human message is getting louder and clearer then any megawatt bullhorn possible.

View @RealTalibKweli on the “Peoples Microphone”