BY EVIN DEMIREL
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April 4, 2018 marks 50 years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a tragedy that reverberated across the globe and transformed the fight for civil rights in the United States. Comcast NBCUniversal is honoring this historic milestone by serving as the Media and Technology Sponsor for the National Civil Rights Museum’s “MLK50 Commemoration,” and is proud to bring you a powerful lineup of speakers and performances.
Courtesy of https://voicesofthecivilrightsmovement.com/
Al Bell, the former co-owner of Stax Records in Memphis, discusses his early days in radio, the importance of black radio stations during the Civil Rights Era, and his relationship with Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus. He said, “I knew from the very beginning of my involvement the importance of radio in the lives of people, period. And black radio, certainly in the lives of black people.”
Al Bell, the Former Co-Owner of Stax Records in Memphis, discusses his school years in Little Rock, the influence of Daisy Bates and his interactions with Dr. King. He recalled, “My English Literature teacher at Jones High School … started calling me while I was working at the radio station saying to me, ‘Alvertis, you need to get involved with Reverend Martin Luther King.'” See more about Daisy Bates in The Importance of African American Newspapers, the first-hand account of Janis F. Kearney, former personal diarist to President William Jefferson Clinton
James Alexander, bass guitarist for the Bar-Kays (Stax Record Label, Memphis) on the plane crash that killed his band mates and Otis Redding, and Dr. Kings assassination. “On April the 4th, 1968, we just happened to be in the studio recording. We couldn’t leave the studio and go home because all out on Macklemore they had National Guard there were a lot of riots and a lot of unrest in the city.”
Al Bell appeared at the Literary Arts in the Delta Festival with Radio Host and Preservationist John Cain moderating “An Afternoon with Al Bell” Friday, March 10th at E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center in Greenville, Mississippi.
The purpose of this Literary Arts in the Delta Festival is to create a regional literary destination for Greenville, Washington County and the Mississippi Delta Region that will give everyone an opportunity to experience and engage in a culturally rich free space for literature, literacy, reading, writing and published works that is highly curated and educational.