The Black American Music Association (BAM) and the Georgia Entertainment Caucus (GEC) announced, on October 27, the formation of the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame (WOF).
Located outside of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the WOF will populate the sidewalks of Northside Dr. and Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. in Vine City as a marker of history, an acknowledgment of accomplishments, and a highly anticipated tourist attraction.
“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,” said Michael T. Mauldin, music executive and the chairman of BAM . “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.”
Mauldin founded BAM three years ago along with Demmettee Guidry, a fellow music executive known for working with Beyoncé, Lauryn Hill, Maxwell, Alicia Keys and several others.
“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,” Guidry said. “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.”
For this project, BAM partnered with GEC and its founders Georgia State Representative Erica Thomas and Catherine Brewton.
“I am ecstatic to be a founding member of the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame,” Thomas said. “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.”
“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.”
During the announcement, Atlanta City Council member Antonio Brown presented the BAM and GEC team with a proclamation from the City Council.
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 William.
“I’m extremely proud to be a part of this initiative to create the Black Music and Entertainment Walk of Fame,” Brewton said. “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.”
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.