On August 13, 2022, legendary Birmingham broadcaster and civil rights activist Paul “Tall Paul” White was inducted into the Alabama Broadcasters Association (ABA) Hall of Fame at Ross Bridge Resort in Hoover, Alabama. Seen here are WATV broadcaster Ron January, Ullman High School Civil Rights activist Gwen Sanders Gamble. BBRM Director Bob Friedman, Paul White’s great niece Eugenia Hood with great grand daughter Autumn receiving the award for the family, and ABA Director Sharon Tinsley.
In the spring 2021 AAA Explorer magazine, The Birmingham Black Radio Museum gets a mention among the iconic and enticing attractions of the 4th Avenue Business District. When the Carver Theater reopens after renovations are complete, BBRM collections will be on display.
“Meet the founder of the Birmingham Black Radio Museum (BBRM), Bob Friedman in this Zoom conversation, where he will discuss and share the history and collection of the BBRM.
The BBRM documents and intricate layer of Birmingham’s history. It is not necessarily a museum in the traditional sense. It can also be categorized as a community archive and an oral history project and its mission is to preserve a historical movement through the lens of Black Radio in Birmingham from the 1930’s through the 1980’s.”
shared by Hoover Public Library, on their YouTube channel
The staff, Director and Board of the Birmingham Black Radio Museum share our profound sadness at the passing of two great Americans, Rev. C. T. Vivian and Congressman John Lewis. It is hoped that our community will continue to gain strength and insight from their courage.
Emily Bibb, Ennis Bragg, Bob Friedman, Willamena Richardson, Min. Gwendolyn Cook Webb
The Birmingham Times interviewed our Director Bob Friedman (top), and oral history contributor Ron January (above), now of WATV, for a story on the Birmingham Black Radio Museum. Read the story here: The Rich History of Birmingham’s Black Radio Museum
Each spring, the Council on Community-Based Partnerships recognizes excellence in community-based scholarship. Students, faculty, staff and UA community partners are honored for outstanding research. Past projects have ranged widely, including health care, education, science and technology, art, literature, and special needs. Recipients are nominated by associates and peers.
This spring, SLIS nominated community partner Bob Friedman and the Birmingham Black Radio Museum (BBRM) for the Excellence Award for Outstanding Community Partner-Initiated Engagement Effort. Along with the award, the BBRM and SLIS were awarded $2,000 in seed funds for their “Mapping Birmingham Black Radio” project.
From the April 17, 2019 Community-Based Partnerships Award Luncheon Program: “The Birmingham Black Radio Museum (BBRM) is a community-based museum dedicated to preserving the history of Birmingham black radio and the pioneering role of broadcasters in supporting Civil Rights activities. A significant Alabama cultural heritage institution, the BBRM places particular emphasis on capturing endangered narratives through oral history. In his role as founder and director, Bob Friedman has secured multiple grants from national organizations to support the museum’s mission. As a result of his efforts, the BBRM has been invited to join Library of Congress consortia dedicated to preservation of radio. Additionally, in his role as mentor, Friedman has provided opportunities through partnerships with UA’s School of Library and Information Studies to prepare generations of students to responsibly and ethically preserve cultural heritage while utilizing socially conscious best practices.” Learn more about the BBRM here.
Dear Mr. Friedman –
I am writing to invite the Birmingham Black Radio Museum to join the Library of Congress Radio Preservation Task Force as a ceremonial partner. We also invite you to join the task force as a Research Associate of our African American Civil Rights Radio Caucus, chaired by Sonja Williams of Howard University. I received your name from Professor Josh Davis at the University of Baltimore.
Here is a link to our federal page: https://www.loc.gov/programs/national-recording-preservation -plan/about-this-program/radio-preservation-task-force/
Our ceremonial partners include Smithsonian’s Folklife and Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, the National Archives, Hoover Institution Libraries and Archives, the Paley Center, NPR, and many others.
Josh has informed me about your important work preserving and protecting African American radio, one of the core initiatives of the task force. We hope to continuously grow this area, and are planning development of new curricular materials and applications for preservation grants.
The Radio Preservation Task Force (RPTF) is a project of the Library of Congress’s National Recording Preservation Board. The RPTF is tasked with locating, assessing, and aiding with the preservation and curricular implementation of radio history.
Josh Shepperd, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Catholic University of America
Sound History Fellow, National Recording Preservation Board, 2017-2018
Director, Radio Preservation Task Force, Library of Congress
“With the help of local and nationwide student volunteers in library sciences and history over the last several years, former WJLD radio host and BBRM Director Bob Friedman continues his mission to transcribe and create a community-based web archive for the oral history of Birmingham-connected black radio. BBRM catalogs interviews from the 1930s through the 1980s conducted by him and other radio show hosts.”
|The IMLS has a relatively small budget; yet, as you see below, the range of services and projects it supports are critical to our children and the public at large. The BBRM has received support from the IMLS for its developing community-based archive at www.thebbrm.org. If you see value in our work as well as the thousands of libraries, museums and cultural research projects nationally…..
PLEASE TAKE 5 MINUTES OF YOUR TIME AND FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW TO TELL YOUR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT CUTS TO THOSE SERVICES AND PROJECTS.
Bob Friedman, Director, BBRM
Advocacy Alert: Federal Library Funding
This week, the White House released its budget proposal for FY2019. As we anticipated, the budget proposed a significant cut to federal library funding. The administration’s budget proposal eliminates the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which provides approximately $183 million in direct funding to libraries through the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA). The budget proposal also eliminates the $27 million Innovative Approaches to Literacy program administered by the Department of Education.
Why It Matters
These proposed cuts would impact many libraries across the country. While public and school libraries would see the largest effects, academic libraries with state-funded databases are also implicated. Since each state is required to match one-third of their federal LSTA grants, any cut to LSTA in the FY2019 budget is likely to lead to a cut on the state level. In addition, the cuts to IAL specifically target school library funding, which will make it harder for vulnerable schools to acquire the books, resources, and training needed to provide high-quality literacy programs for their students.
Wait, What Happened to the FY 2018 Budget?
Last week, Congress passed and the president signed an FY2018 budget deal that will likely include at least level funding for federal library programs at FY 2017 levels. While this budget agreement is a positive step towards resolving the FY 2018 budget, Congress will still be working on the final spending bill for a few more weeks. The ALA Washington Office will continue to monitor progress on the bill.
What You Can Do Now
Congress will have the final say on budget allocations for these programs in the FY2019 budget. Now is the time to let them know how important federal library funding is to their constituents. Use the ALA Action Center to send your Representatives an email and ask for their public support of library funding throughout the FY2019 appropriations cycle.
This will be a many-step process and we will need your help at key times along the way. Stay tuned for updates.
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