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The Detroit Historical Museum’s Community Gallery is a changing exhibition space made available to local historical societies, museums, non-profit organizations and educational institutions. Selected for their contributions to the metro Detroit community, the organizations featured here share their stories and provide new perspectives on the issues, ideas and individuals that have shaped our region’s rich history.
Developed and produced solely by our featured organizations, the words, images and ideas represented in the exhibition do not reflect the ideas, views or opinions of the Detroit Historical Society.
Opening April 16, 2016 in the Community Gallery!
Motown Black & White
The Motown Black & White exhibit is based upon the highly coveted Motown book Hype & Soul: Behind the Scenes At Motown by Al Abrams (Pub. 2011). It will also unveil the cover of Abrams’ yet unreleased book titled, High On Soul: Tell Me It’s Just A Rumor Berry (Pub. Date 2017).
Motown Black & White is a rearview and forward visual look at Motown through the lens of Al Abrams, an eighteen-year-old white Jewish kid from a Detroit working class family who became Motown's iconic press officer. Abrams created the magic media auras that surrounded almost all of Motown’s stars including Berry Gordy, The Supremes, Temptations, Four Tops, Smokey Robinson & The Miracles, Mary Wells, Marv Johnson, Martha & The Vandellas, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye, among others. He "hyped” the “hits,” derailed the gossip, and created the myths. Motown Black & White allows Detroit to bask in the spotlight of knowing that Motown music is their music. It was made in Detroit.
*Please note that Al Abrams passed away on October 3, 2015. Abrams will receive a Distinguished Music Award posthumously at the Detroit Music Awards event at the Fillmore Theatre on Friday, April 29—a fitting tribute to honor Detroit’s iconic Motown press officer.
Supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts.