On Oct. 22, the Black American Music Association and the Georgia Entertainment Caucus announced the formation of the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame.
The event featured remarks from BAM Founders, Michael T Mauldin and Demmette Guidry, and GEC Founders Georgia state Representative Erica Thomas and Catherine Brewton. Also in attendance, was renowned artist, D.L. Warfield, who is creating the official WOF emblem that will be embedded in the sidewalk representing each inductee. The emblem is being created in collaboration with sculptor and historian Ed Dwight.
Located in the historic downtown Atlanta area, the WOF will reside on the sidewalks of Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive and Northside Drive, 1 AMB Drive, NW, Atlanta, GA 30313.
The event was hosted by the Mercedes Benz Stadium.
Also in attendance were musician, songwriter, record and film producer, Dallas Austin, R&B singer, songwriter, producer, Sean Garrett, entertainment executive & head of artist & talent relations at Spotify, Chaka Zulu, Georgia House of Representatives members Rep. Miriam Paris, Rep. Park Cannon, Whip William Boddie, Director, Mayor's Office of Film & Entertainment at City of Atlanta, Phillana Williams and Atlanta City Council member, Antonio Brown, who presented the BAM and GEC team with a proclamation from the City Council.
Known as the "Capital of the South," Atlanta has long been the mecca of Black music and entertainment and the WOF will be a key addition to showcase the industry's greatest contributors.
With both a national and international appeal, the WOF will honor the iconic individuals and organizations that have impacted Black culture and community alongside those who continue to lead us into the future.
Groundbreaking for the WOF is slated for late December, weather permitting, with an official inaugural celebration scheduled for January 2021 over M.L.K., Jr. weekend.
"As a proud Black man in America, who has been a part of the professional entertainment community for 45 years, I'm elated to have the opportunity to help usher into Atlanta, Georgia, this historic and innovative international Walk of Fame," shared Mauldin. "Represented as the 'Eternal Crown Jewel of Black Culture,' there could be no better location in the world than M.L.K., Jr. Drive to profile the heritage, legacy and future of our global Black music and entertainment culture."
"Black American Music, as an art form, is the driver of Black culture, which drives popular culture worldwide. So, it is fitting that we honor those who are the 'bedrock' of culture," stated Guidry. "The Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame will be a permanent monument to achievement in Black excellence. We are designing the Walk of Fame in hopes that it will become a popular tourist destination, illuminating our rich cultural heritage."
"I am ecstatic to be a founding member of the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame. This initiative makes me so proud, with everything going on in the world African Americans need some positivity and hope and the Walk of Fame will bring just that," shared Georgia state Representative, District 39, Erica Thomas. "This symbolic gesture proves that we as a community have come a long way and although we have many miles to go this effort shows an overall sense of respect for the individuals of color that helped pave the way for our entertainment professionals."
"I'm extremely proud to be a part of this initiative to create the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame," commented Catherine Brewton. "Not only does Georgia have deep roots in black music and entertainment, but Atlanta continues to be the center of black excellence. This walk of fame will symbolize, memorialize, and celebrate many of our black creatives and entertainers who have made significant impacts both here and around the world."