This year, for Black History Month, we're taking a look at a group of leaders who are currently active making Black history across the labor movement. Check back daily for a new profile and meet some of the people working to improve not only their community, but also to improve conditions for working people across the country. Today's profile is Benjamin Wright of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM).
With a career spanning 60 years, Benjamin Wright of AFM Local 47 in Los Angeles has worked as a music director, arranger, songwriter and producer. He has a staggering résumé of nearly 250 songs to his credit, either as writer or arranger, and that number continues to grow. He worked as the music director and producer for The Temptations, and in 1977, he joined Gladys Knight as her music director, a job he would hold for the next 30 years. His collaborations with notable artists have continued, with Wright contributing award-winning material and production for artists as disparate as OutKast, DeBarge, Destiny’s Child, Toni Braxton, Mary J. Blige, Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan and Justin Timberlake.