12 inch messages: a brief history of Black spoken word vinyl records
The 1960s and 1970s were the heyday of African-American and other Black interest 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, by Eddie Chambers, of the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, 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.
On display in the Fine Arts Library, University of Texas at Austin, August 30 2017 onwards
installation photograph on home page taken by Mark Doroba, University of Texas Libraries