Kenneth Plummer began collecting records in the ninth grade. His love of music and admiration for Florida A&M University inspired him to donate a part of his collection to the Black Archives, on Saturday, during the “Music on Vinyl” listening party.
“FAMU has always been a part of my history, my family history, my heritage and it was my intended as far as colleges to attend. Even though that didn’t happen, I never lost my love, my support and my affinity for FAMU,” Plummer said. “So when I decided to donate all of my life long collectables, this was a natural place.”
Before each record was played, there was an interactive discussion about that particular artist. Stories and fun facts were exchanged while Dinah Washington, The Commodores and Kool & The Gang played in the background. One member of the crowd even recalled seeing the legendary Motown Revue at the Apollo theater during their heyday.
Aware that millennials may not have had the opportunity to see a vinyl, The Black Archives hopes events like Saturday’s will continue to bring all ages together to enjoy the music. With the power of technology, there is now a way to save vinyls on a USB. In the future, the Black Archives plans to use music in their existing exhibits. Director of the Black Archives, Nashid Madyun, remembers listening to records with his family as a child and still has that same appreciation for music today. Madyun acknowledged the importance of having this event during Black History Month.
“I think it’s significant because the opportunity to appreciate African-American culture through a variety of genres, not just contemporary leaders, but pioneers in culture is important,” Madyun said. “So we had the opportunity to explore rock influences on blues influences on jazz and even have discussions about those artists influence on hip-hop and contemporary music. It was lively, worthwhile and I think it was very appropriate for this month,” said Madyun.
FAMU alumnus Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. Adderley was a renowned saxophonist who studied brass and reed instruments at FAMU. After graduating in 1948, he rose to prominence for his critically acclaimed performances and went on to play alongside the legendary Miles Davis and John Coltrane. The same delight felt by the older members in the crowd was seen on the faces of younger members’ who interacted with them. Junior political science student Keyon Gillens enjoyed the conversations with FAMU alumni and learned more about artists from the past.
“I definitely got to be introduced to more new music that I didn’t know from the past. It was really cool talking to the older alumni because they are basically my grandparent’s age so they really kind of put me on to a lot of different things like Roberta Flack and Nina [Simone],” Gillens said. “I also enjoyed seeing the joy and the memories that it brought up.”
For more information about the Black Archives and upcoming events, visit the Meek-Eaton Black Archives’ Facebook page.