Lyceum Explores Motown’s Cultural Impact

Emory & Henry held an event for Black History Month featuring retired professor David St. Clair. In a packed room full of students, St. Clair led an informative presentation that began with an interactive twist. Students were encouraged to get up and dance at the beginning of the lyceum, which is not something you see every day; at least not for senior Marquise Coleman.

Students were encouraged to get up and dance at the beginning of the lyceum, which is not something you see every day; at least not for senior Marquise Coleman. “We started dancing, and I didn’t know what the song was but it was a nice way to start things. It was definitely different to start out a lyceum that way,” said Coleman. He also pointed out the one thing that stood out for him in the lyceum, which was the relationship between Berry Gordy and Martin Luther King Jr. “To know both of those guys were in a relationship, I didn’t really know that. That was very interesting to me.”

“We started dancing, and I didn’t know what the song was but it was a nice way to start things. It was definitely different to start out a lyceum that way,” said Coleman. He also pointed out the one thing that stood out for him in the lyceum, which was the relationship between Berry Gordy and Martin Luther King Jr. “To know both of those guys were in a relationship, I didn’t really know that. That was very interesting to me.”

Professor St. Clair was energetic and active in his presentation. When asked what he was trying to get across tonight to the students, he replied readily.
“I simply wanted to tell a story about a phenomenal occurrence in music history and American history, which was the foundation and the formation on the success of Motown records and talk about the impact that it had,” said St. Clair.

When asked what his favorite Motown song was, Professor St. Clair smiled. “I discussed Heatwave during the presentation; it was my favorite well known song. However my favorite Motown song is one by Jimmy Ruffin, the older brother of the lead singer of the Temptations, David Ruffin, and it’s called What Becomes of The Broken Hearted,” said St. Clair.

“I discussed Heatwave during the presentation; it was my favorite well known song. However my favorite Motown song is one by Jimmy Ruffin, the older brother of the lead singer of the Temptations, David Ruffin, and it’s called What Becomes of The Broken Hearted,” said St. Clair.

– Will Seidel

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