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Speech Thomas Bookstock

Saturday, June 24, 2023 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM

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Pentangle Arts, in collaboration with Bookstock, presents:

Speech Thomas

2x Grammy Award Winning founder and lead singer of the 4X PLATINUM hip-hop collective ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT

Saturday, June 24
Live in-person Bookstock event featuring Speech Thomas
7:00 pm
Woodstock Town Hall Theatre
Free with donations welcome

About Speech Thomas:

Speech Thomas is known for his entrepreneurship, philanthropy and as the beloved leader of the 2x Grammy Award-Winning Hip-Hop Collective, Arrested Development, but he didn’t always have those accolades behind him. Growing up in Milwaukee, one of the most statistically difficult places for black youth, Speech understood that he had to make his own path. Pushing against all trends around rap and hip-hop, Speech and his bandmates decided to focus on more uplifting and positive messaging. It was a brave move at the time when lyrics were filled with hateful and violent words. But staying the course of creating a different impact served them well, which led to their song “Tennessee” becoming Arrested Development’s first hit single as well as BEST RAP SONG winner at the Grammys and being named one of the “500 songs that shaped Rock and Roll” by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. What helped Speech be a brave leader at a time when he could have been swayed to march in the same direction of other performers? It is that story that Speech is sharing with global audiences, and how he was able to break away from the mainstream and dig deeper to find a new way to impact the masses.

In the early nineties, Speech and his mother started the Terrence Thomas Scholarship and to date, the scholarship has raised over a million dollars helping young black students further their educations. In 1995, the group disbanded, and Speech signed a solo record deal with EMI. His first single “Like Marvin Gaye Said” shot to #1 on the Japanese Tokyo 100 charts for 7 consecutive weeks. Speech has released 5 solo albums since, all of which have spawned Top 10 hit singles in Japan. His albums “1998 Hoopla” and “Spiritual People” (2000) were certified gold, while “Spiritual People” was awarded the Best black music album of the year 2000 by the acclaimed ADLIB magazine. Speech supported each album with sold-out tours.

Speech has also toured as a solo performer with the United States Vice President Al Gore, First Lady Hillary Clinton, Herbie Hancock, Chaka Khan, Youssou N’dour, James Brown, Parliament-Funkadelic, Jason Mraz, Hootie & the Blowfish, and The Roots.

In 2020 Speech partnered with Resonant Pictures and Pipeline Entertainment to release the full-length documentary “16 Bars” where Speech goes into a maximum-security jail to write music with inmates. This stirring documentary has won numerous film festival awards and is now available through Lightyear Entertainment on streaming platforms worldwide.

Speech continues to change lives through his keynotes and music.

About the 2023 Bookstock Festival of Words:

The 2023 Bookstock Festival of Words features the theme: “Voices On the Village Green” and includes a three-day festival featuring free public conversations on key issues with renowned authors, poets and storytellers. Speakers include: The New Yorker Satirist Andy Borowitz; two-time GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist Speech Thomas; National Book Award and Pulitzer-Prize winning historian Joseph J. Ellis; USA Today Washington Bureau Chief and biographer Susan Page; #1 New York Times bestselling author Bill Gifford; Garrett Award for Fiction winner and environmental journalist Megan Mayhew Bergman; Kirkus Review Best Book award winner Emily Bernard; American writer and indigenous storyteller Joseph Bruchac; Oprah Pick and Maine Book Award bestselling author Susan Conley; former Poet Laureate of Vermont Chard deNiord; New York Times columnist Thomas B. Edsall; 2021 Vermont Book Award winner Melanie Finn; poet, Los Angeles Times columnist Jacques Leslie; novelist, biographer and critic Jay Parini; bestselling author and contributing editor to Vanity Fair Jeff Sharlet; and New York Times bestselling author Ilyon Woo Speakers include three current Vermont Book Award finalists: YA author Jo Knowles; Pushcart Prize Winning fiction writer Peter Orner; and critically acclaimed poet Bianca Stone.

For more details about the 2023 Bookstock Festival of Words, visit: bookstockvt.org


Saturday, June 24, 2023
7:00 PM to 9:30 PM
Event Category:


Woodstock Town Hall Theatre
31 The Green
Woodstock, VT 05091 United States
(802) 457-3981


Pentangle Arts
(802) 457-3981