Motown, the record label and entire music industry founded by Berry Gordy Jr., made stars of the likes of Diana Ross, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, but it also had a spoken-word label, Black Forum, set up by Gordy in 1970. It released compilations of speeches, poetry and oral history — among them works by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, Margaret Danner and Bill Cosby.
Financial advisor, author and journalist Alvin Hall ’74 explores Motown’s eight Black Forum spoken word records and the people behind them on the BBC Radio 4 program, “Motown: Speaking in the Streets,” whose initial broadcast is to be Thursday, January 9, 2014.
“My interview with Elaine Brown, a former chairman of the Black Panther Party, is one of the most memorable interviews of my entire career,” said Hall. “The woman remains fierce and genuinely committed.”