Press Release

Muhammad Ali Center Welcomes New Exhibit, Motown in Black and White

­­­Temporary exhibit focuses on Motown’s impact on American culture

LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (August 23, 2013) … Clothing, albums, and never-before-seen photos are all part of the Muhammad Ali Center’s upcoming exhibit, Motown in Black and White, which will run from August 30 through November 10, 2013. Visitors will be transported back in time through artifacts that explore the impact that Motown music had on shaping American culture in the mid-to-late 20th century. The Motown in Black and White exhibit is included in regular admission price to the Muhammad Ali Center.

Motown in Black and White is composed of historical items from the personal collection of Al Abrams, the founding publicist of Motown and its public relations director during the label's glory days. From photos collected over the years to apparel worn by famous Motown artists, Abrams’ archive of historical Motown items is very impressive. Visitors will also be entertained by iconic Motown performances displayed on a built-in screen within the exhibit.

Abrams, who worked with the likes of The Supremes, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Four Tops, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and many more, had this to say about Motown in Black in White: “The focus of Motown in Black and White is on Motown, its music, its history and the diversity of its ‘family.’  The photographs are the feature.  They tell a wonderful and uplifting story about kids who grew up Motown.  They made music their passion; they made Civil Rights history together without even realizing it.  And that is how Motown achieved its crossover sound, sold vinyl, and became a successful record label. These kids that grew up together had differences, but none that really mattered. Motown was not obsessed with skin color; but rather with making one sound for one world.”

“It was important for the Ali Center to welcome Motown in Black and White as it is an incredible educational tool which expounds the cultural impact that Motown music had at its start and the influence that it maintains to this day,” said Donald Lassere, President and CEO of the Muhammad Ali Center. “The Ali Center is guided by Muhammad Ali’s Six Core Principles, one of which is Respect. Respect is a common theme throughout Motown in Black and White as Motown created a bridge to allow for learning and understanding of other people through the universal language of music. In addition to the incredible message communicated by the exhibit, Muhammad Ali is a huge fan of Motown himself; so there is great symmetry for us to host Motown in Black and White in the Center that bears his name.”

Motown in Black and White not only presents a great opportunity for adults to reminisce about days gone by, it also caters to school children as it features curriculum that aligns with Kentucky and Indiana Core Content Standards. This allows for integration of the classroom with real-life cultural experiences.

The Muhammad Ali Center is located at 144 N. Sixth Street in downtown Louisville. Parking is available in attached garage or on-street. For more information about the Muhammad Ali Center and Motown in Black and White, visit or call 502.584.9254. Group tours are available and special rates apply for groups of 20 or more.

About the Muhammad Ali Center

The Muhammad Ali Center, a 501(c)3 corporation, was co-founded by Muhammad Ali and his wife Lonnie in their hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. The international cultural center promotes the six core principles of Muhammad Ali (Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving, Respect, and Spirituality) in ways that inspire personal and global greatness and provides programming and events around the focus areas of education, gender equity, and global citizenship. Its newest initiative, Generation Ali, fosters a new generation of leaders to contribute positively to their communities and to change the world for the better. The Center’s headquarters also contains an award-winning museum experience. For more information, please visit


Jeanie Kahnke
Senior Director of Public Relations and External Affairs

Elizabeth Rauch
Communications and Marketing Associate