Noted music producer and scholar Pat Thomas spent five years researching Listen, Whitey! While befriending members of the Black Panther Party, Thomas discovered rare recordings of speeches, interviews, and music by noted activists Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, Eldridge Cleaver, Elaine Brown, The Lumpen and many others that form the framework of this definitive retrospective.
Listen, Whitey! chronicles the forgotten history of Motown Records. From 1970 to 1973, Motown’s Black Power subsidiary label, Black Forum, released politically charged albums by Stokely Carmichael, Amiri Baraka, Langston Hughes, Bill Cosby & Ossie Davis, and many others, and explores the musical connections between Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Graham Nash, the Partridge Family (!?!) and the Black Power movement. Obscure recordings produced by SNCC, Ron Karenga’s US, the Tribe and other African-American sociopolitical organizations of the late 1960s and early ’70s are examined along with the Isley Brothers, Nina Simone, Archie Shepp, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Clifford Thornton, Watts Prophets, Last Poets, Gene McDaniels, Roland Kirk, Horace Silver, Angela Davis, H. Rap Brown, Stanley Crouch, and others that spoke out against oppression. Thomas further focuses on Black Consciousness poetry (from the likes of Jayne Cortez, wife of Ornette Coleman), inspired religious recordings that infused god and Black Nationalism, and obscure regional and privately pressed Black Power 7-inch soul singles from across America. The text is accompanied by over 200 large sized, full-color reproductions of album covers and 45 rpm singles — most of which readers will have never seen before.
“[Listen Whitey!]… is a huge contribution to our understanding of this crucial moment in our shared history, and a document that resounds with as much beauty, passion and hope as the records of that fervid time.” – Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A History of The Hip-Hop Generation and Who We Be: The Colorization of America
As a reissue producer, Pat Thomas has released vintage recordings from Elaine Brown, the Watts Prophets, Gene McDaniels, and Eddie Gale, His writing about music has appeared in Mojo, Crawdaddy, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. During the research for this book, he lectured on the recordings contained within at UCLA, San Francisco State University, Evergreen State College and Merritt College.
Our friends at Amoeba Music, just up the street, will be on hand with the companion CD from Light in the Attic Records!