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Celebrate Black History Month 2024 with Memphis’s Stax Music Academy production

todayJanuary 25, 2024

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The Stax Music Academy in Memphis, Tennessee, is debuting an original video production and accompanying educational materials to celebrate Black History Month in February 2024. The program, titled “Stax Meets Motown,” explores the connections between the civil rights movement of the 1960s and iconic record labels Stax and Motown.

Created entirely by students at the Academy, “Stax Meets Motown” features an entertaining plotline debating the musical merits of the two legendary soul music labels. Through tributes to artists like Otis Redding, Diana Ross, and Stevie Wonder, the production delves into race relations, fashion, and culture alongside the iconic sounds of the era.

The video was filmed at the historic Booker T. Washington High School, one of Memphis’ first high schools for African American students. Its writer and stars include award-winning student filmmaker Anaya Murray and actor Rickey Fondren III, who was recently featured on CNN for his theater work.

Complementing the musical production, the Stax Music Academy has also developed educational materials exploring civil rights history, Black radio’s influence, the 1967 Detroit riots, and more. These study guides aim to commemorate under-taught stories around race and the recording industry in the 1960s-70s.

Distributed free of charge when it debuts in February, the video and study guides are intended for students, educators, youth groups, and other organizations focused on equal arts education and cultural awareness. Through blending entertainment and education, the Stax Music Academy hopes to inspire engagement with pivotal moments in African American history.


Written by: Tarik Moody

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