Motown: Speaking in the Streets
Black Forum was Motown's spoken word label. Its eight albums reflect African-American experience at a turbulent time in America. Alvin Hall talks to those behind the recordings.
In 1970, Berry Gordy, the founder of Motown, set up a Motown spoken word label. It was called Black Forum and recorded poetry, civil rights speeches, African-American soldiers in Vietnam and more. The label closed in 1973 after eight releases. Those releases have started to attract interest with some reissued. They stand as a powerful testament to the African-American experience at a turbulent time in America. The financial educator and spoken word record collector Alvin Hall listens to the recordings and talks to those involved in their creation.
Theatre Director and Producer Woodie King Jr., Producer of "Black Spirits: Festival of New Poets in America", and "It's Nation Time: African Visionary Music"
Professor Suzanne E Smith, author of "Dancing in the Street: Motown and the Cultural Politics of Detroit"
Pat Thomas, author of "Listen Whitey: The Sights and Sounds of Black Power 1965 - 1975"
Elaine Brown, singer/songwriter of the album "Elaine Brown" and former leader of the Black Panthers
Suzanne de Passe, former Creative Director and President of Motown
Amiri Baraka, star of "Black Spirits: Festival of New Poets in America", "It's Nation Time: African Visionary Music" and civil rights activist, poet, and writer
Black Forum releases:
Dr Martin Luther King Jr. - Why I Oppose The War In Vietnam
Stokely Carmichael - Free Huey
Langston Hughes and Margaret Danner - Writers Of The Revolution
Guess Who's Coming Home - Black Fighting Men Recorded Live In Vietnam
Ossie Davis and Bill Cosby - Address The Congressional Black Caucus
Black Spirits - Festival of New Black Poets in America
Imamu Amiri Baraka - It's Nation Time
Elaine Brown - Elaine Brown
Producer Ekene Akalawu.