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Archives of African American Music and Culture

Last modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013

Lecture by music industry pioneer highlights Black History Month at IU Bloomington

Other events include annual dance workshop, film screenings and lectures

Jan. 24, 2013

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- As part of Indiana University's Black History Month, pioneering music industry executive Logan H. Westbrooks will deliver a presentation, "Bustin' Loose: Breaking Racial Barriers in the Music Industry" from 5 to 6 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, 275 N. Jordan Ave.

Westbrooks, Logan H.

Logan H. Westbrooks

Print-Quality Photo

A reception will follow, where dancing will be encouraged, through a soundtrack of soul, funk and R&B hits from the 1960s through the 1980s that were promoted by Westbrooks over the course of his career.

Westbrooks also is part of the city of Bloomington's Black History Month event, "Bloomington Style: Lessons in Leadership." Westbrooks will discuss "Black Leadership in the Music Industry" from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at Showers City Hall. The public lecture will be followed by a reception.

Most of the month's events are free and open to the public. The theme will be "At the Crossroads of Freedom and Equality: Honoring the Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington."

Westbrooks' career began in the 1960s as a Midwest promotion manager for Capitol and Mercury Records. In the 1970s he moved to CBS, becoming the first director of special markets (a newly created black music division), then spearheading the company's expansion in Africa. Later, after a stint at Soul Train Records, Westbrooks founded Source Records and released the first go-go hit record "Bustin' Loose" by Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers, which was sampled in Nelly's 2002 hit "Hot in Herre."

In conjunction with Westbrooks' presentation, the Archives of African American Music and Culture at IU is unveiling the exhibit, "Logan Westbrooks: Music Industry Executive, Entrepreneur, Teacher, Philanthropist," which will be available in the Neal-Marshall Bridgwaters Lounge throughout February.

The exhibit offers a glimpse into the life of one of the first black music executives at a major record label, beginning with Westbrooks' formative years in Memphis, and then chronicling his career at record companies in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, his work in Africa, and his philanthropic and teaching activities.

The story unfolds through photographs, recordings, awards and personal papers from Westbrooks' collection, which recently was donated to the Archives of African American Music and Culture. A slideshow of photographs from the Westbrooks Collection is also available through the IU Digital Library Programs' Image Collections Online portal.

In conjunction with Westbrooks' presentation at Showers City Hall, the Archives of African American Music also is presenting "The Evolution of the Black Music Industry," an exhibit that traces the local and national history of African Americans in the music industry over the past century. The exhibit will be available there throughout February.

In addition to the Archives of African American Music and Culture, other sponsors are the Liberal Arts and Management Program; the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center; Office of the Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs; Department of Folklore and Ethnomusicology; African American Arts Institute; Department of African American and African Diaspora Studies; and Department of American Studies.

Other Black History Month activities at IU Bloomington will include:

  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 4: The 11th annual African American Read-In. In connection with a national effort, the IU School of Education will host the event at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 6: A screening of "A. Philip Randolph: For Jobs and Freedom" by the IU Black Film Center/Archive in Room 044B of the Herman B Wells Library. Randolph was the driving force behind the 1963 March on Washington and the pre-eminent black labor leader of the 20th century. The documentary chronicles his efforts to build a more equitable society.
  • 8 to 10:30 a.m. Feb. 9: The Bloomington Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority's third annual pancake breakfast, at Longhorn Restaurant, 721 S. College Mall Road. Tickets, which cost $5, must be purchased in advance. Proceeds support scholarships, public service initiatives and community programming. Children younger than 5 are admitted free.
  • 2 p.m. Feb. 10: Women of Color Book Club will discuss "Home" by Toni Morrison at the Monroe County Public Library, 303 E. Kirkwood Ave.
  • 3 p.m. Feb. 10: A screening of "This Is the Life," Ava DuVernay's documentary chronicling a West Coast hip-hop movement that stemmed from an anti-violence community event in Los Angeles in the 1990s. The IU Black Film Center/Archive and Delta Sigma Theta will present it at the Monroe County Public Library.
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 11: "The State of Black Poetry," which will feature students from IU's African American and African Diaspora Studies program as well as alumni and feature jazz music and food. Organized by the Black Graduate Student Association, it will be at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 13: A screening of "At the River I Stand," a documentary that reconstructs two eventful months that transformed a strike by Memphis sanitation workers and disentangles the complex historical forces that came together after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. It will be in Room 044B of the Wells Library.
  • 4 p.m. Feb. 18: A presentation by Lois Leveen, author of the historical novel "The Secrets of Mary Bowser," about the former slave who became a spy for the Union army during the Civil War. A historian who has taught at the University of Southern California at Los Angeles and Reed College, Leveen is a regular contributor to Disunion and The New York Times. She will speak in the Grand Hall of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.
  • 6 p.m. Feb. 18: "Don't Just Talk About it, Be About It: How You Can Do Your Part in Increasing Secular Efforts in the Black Community," a presentation by Mandisa Thomas, founder and president of Black Nonbelievers Inc. Location will be announced. The event is co-sponsored with the Secular Alliance at Indiana University.
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 20: A screening of "The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords," which recounts the largely forgotten stories of generations of black journalists who risked their lives and livelihood so African Americans could represent themselves in their own words and images. It will be in Room 044B of the Wells Library.
  • 9 a.m. Feb. 22: "Making History with IU," a program involving high school students who have been invited to the campus to meet with counselors, representatives from various IU departments, schools and student organizations. It will be at the Indiana Memorial Union for invited guests.
  • Feb. 22 and 23: African American Dance Company's 15th annual dance workshop. Participants will experience dance classes from the perspective of the African American and African Diaspora. Events will include a panel discussion Feb. 22 in the Grand Hall of Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center. The featured speaker will be Sheila Ward, associate professor in the Department of Health, Physical Education and Exercise Science at Norfolk State University and co-executive director of Eleone Dance Theatre in Philadelphia. It will conclude with a dance showcase Feb. 23. Both events will begin at 7 p.m. at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.
  • 4 p.m. Feb. 25: A lecture by Amrita Chakrabarti Myers, an associate professor of history and an adjunct faculty member in African American and African Diaspora Studies. It will take place in the Bridgwaters Lounge of the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.
  • 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23: The City of Bloomington Black History Month Gala at the Hilton Garden Inn, 245 N. College Ave. Tickets cost $45. For more information, contact Beverly Calendar-Anderson at
  • 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 27: The annual Black Knowledge Bowl at the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center.
  • 7 p.m. Feb. 27: A screening of "Struggles in Steel." Black steelworker Ray Henderson and independent filmmaker Tony Buba interviewed more than 70 retired black steelworkers who tell heart-rending tales of struggle. It will be in Room 044B of the Wells Library.