Spoken Word Exhibit at Fine Arts Highlights African American Voices of the 60s and 70s
Event: Exhibition “12-Inch Messages: A Brief History of African-American Spoken Word Vinyl Records.” Free and open to the public.
When: On view September 1-October 31, 2017 during regular hours at the Fine Arts Library: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/about/hours/
Where: Fine Arts Library (DFA 3.200) at The University of Texas at Austin.
Background: The Fine Arts Library hosts an exhibit of materials related to African-American artists active in the heyday of spoken-word recordings from the 1960s and 1970s.
Descending from oral history traditions that emerged in reaction to the silencing effects of slavery and further developed in the poetry of the Harlem Renaissance, spoken word gained traction as a form in the wake of noted speeches by great orators of the era — Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, Eldridge Cleaver, and Stokely Carmichael to name a few. Recordings of such speeches, sermons, rallies and poetry were produced and distributed, sometimes privately, at other times, by major labels through imprints like Black Forum, a subsidiary of Motown Records.
This display curated by Eddie Chambers — professor in 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 view through October 31 in the Reading Room of the Fine Arts Library at The University of Texas at Austin.