12-inch Messages: A Brief History of African-American Spoken Word Vinyl Records

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Chambers, Eddie
Doroba, Mark (photographer)

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On exhibit on the third floor of the library, the FAL is happy to present "12-inch Messages: A Brief History of African-American Spoken Word Vinyl Records". The exhibit is curated by Professor Eddie Chambers of UT's Department of Art and Art History. The 1960s and 1970s were the heyday of African- American spoken word vinyl records. Sometimes these records were privately produced, by activists or entrepreneurs; at other times, major companies and corporations such as Motown Records produced spoken word records through subsidiary labels such as Black Forum. Sometimes these records were recordings of sermons, speeches, rallies or poetry; at other times, with the emphasis on civil rights struggles and/or Black History, they were made for the classroom, and juvenile audiences. Over a period of over two decades, many different records were made, including ones of speeches by celebrated figures such as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Eldridge Cleaver, and Stokely Carmichael. This display brings together a selection of these records, some of which have sleeves every bit as striking as the voices and sentiments of the records themselves. Photos and design by Mark Doroba




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