Photo from NRBHF website.
The NRBHF was founded in 2010 and since 2013, it has inducted over 200 world-renowned artists.
After numerous attempts over the past 50-plus years to build a Hall of Fame for Rhythm and Blues icons such as James Brown, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, and many others, the National Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame is coming to fruition.
The NRBHF will be built in Marks, Mississippi and the Ground-Breaking Ceremony will kick off the Annual Mules & Blues Fest on Friday, September 30, 2022.
The City of Marks-Quitman County has donated five (of a possible 30) acres of land known as Industrial Park and a $500,000 from a state grant is being used to jump-start this one-of-a-kind international tourist attraction.
The NRBHF’s Founder and CEO LaMont Robinson said that his vision to build a hall of fame to honor R&B and its contributions to civil rights, America, and the entire world is something that he does not take lightly.
“I have been a long-time activist and advocate for preserving the history of rhythm and blues music and its legends,” Robinson stated. “There is no other hall of fame in the world that is primarily focused and dedicated to the history of R&B music on a national scale. This project won’t just be made up of showcases and photographs on the wall like you would find in a typical hall of fame or museum, but it will be highly interactive, virtual reality, with holograms.”
“R&B goes hand and hand with the Civil Rights Movement, and one of the reasons for choosing Marks is the role that it played in Dr. Martin Luther King’s ‘Poor People’s Campaign (PPC),” Robinson continued.
Mayor Joe Shegog of the City of Marks said that he is very grateful to have Robinson come to Quitman County and to bring the NRBHOF, which will be a tribute to all the music legends that hailed from the Delta.
“He sees this project as bringing awareness to our musical roots and heritage and a means to create opportunities within our community,” Mayor Shegog said.
Velma Benson-Wilson, Quitman County’s Economic and Tourism Director, mentioned that this project’s other important aspects are bringing jobs and providing an economic boost for Marks-Quitman County and the State of Mississippi.
“Wilson is also working on meeting with elected officials to present a bill for Capitol Hill that would be in honor of rhythm and blues artists from the “Segregation and Jim Crow era”, and having a day named “Rhythm & Blues Artists’ Day“, to be celebrated every August 17th,” a release from the NRBHF said.