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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.

Programme Contributors:

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.

Available now

30 minutes

Last on

Mon 15 Jun 2015 16:00


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