Bartow Bio: Hall sets focus on past, future of Adairsville
by Mark Andrews
Mar 25, 2013 | 872 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Ahmad Hall serves as president of The Adairsville Black Historical Society and is also a musician. Sean Cokes/Special
Ahmad Hall serves as president of The Adairsville Black Historical Society and is also a musician. Sean Cokes/Special
For Ahmad Hall, faith, history and music have all been integral parts for shaping his life and giving back to his community. A resident of Adairsville, Hall has spent his life expressing his religious faith through song, even reaching out to others who share the same passion through the recent Message in the Music gospel workshop, held earlier this month at the Adairsville Church of God.

As president of The Adairsville Black Historical Society, Hall has been instrumental in the preservation of Bartow County’s African-American history.

“I have big hopes and dreams for this organization,” Hall said. “I’m a man of faith, so I always have more faith than I have budget.”

“But a long-term goal is to open an African-American history museum on the square in Adairsville. My great-great grandfather Mr. William Arthur Butler owned a shoe shop there in the early 1900s, making him one the first black business owners in Adairsville and the building is still standing.

“Without giving too much information, I will say that I would love to see the building restored to its former glory.”

Occupation/title: Minister of Music/Music Director

City of residence: Adairsville

Education: Adairsville High School and Jacksonville State University

How did you go about becoming involved in The Adairsville Black Historical Society and what roles have you played in the organization?

A: I was asked by members of the Adairsville City Council and workers from the Adairsville depot to form and head a group that focused on the many contributions African-Americans have made to the Adairsville area. They felt it was very important to recognize that no one class or group of people was responsible for making the city what it is today. And the role that I have played as head of the organization has been to gather all information possible to help preserve this history and also to convey how important it is by creating fun and innovative events that promote family genealogy and research.

Could you explain the role The Adairsville Black Historical Society plays in educating the community?

A: Yes, last August we hosted an event on the square in Adairsville called “The Harris Family Heritage Day,” which honored the Harris family for its contributions to the area. There was food, games, horseback riding, live music and, most of all, sharing of the history of the Harris family, so we’ve tried to teach it in a fun way so that it can be accepted by all ages. There are more events in the making.

At what point in your life did you realize you wanted to pursue music and music production?

A: Honestly I’ve known since about the age of 5. My mom recognized that I had a musical gift as early as the age of 3. She was a single parent but made the sacrifice of working overtime just so she would be able to purchase me a piano. The rest is history. I still have that piano to this day and will always cherish it.

What do you consider your greatest personal or professional achievement?

A: I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many great Grammy-award winning artists and still do to this day, but I think that my greatest achievement is recognizing at an early age what my purpose was in life and understanding that it’s not a talent, it’s a gift from God and is to be shared at every opportunity that God may be exemplified and glorified.

What is the most rewarding aspect of serving the community through The Adairsville Black Historical Society and through your music?

A: I think the most rewarding part is seeing what a difference you can make in someone’s life by showing them where they’ve come from and helping them understand how it helped them get to the place they are now. And musically it amazes me how with lyrics and a melody you can completely change someone’s life forever if you convey the music in the proper way. It’s like painting a picture. A gifted artist knows the right brushes and colors to use so that, when the picture is complete, it becomes timeless and makes a permanent impression.

What have been some of the struggles you have faced as an aspiring singer?

A: Early on there were some self-esteem issues but they soon went away after I realized what my purpose really was. God gifts and anoints everyone in different ways. Even the job that we think is the least glamorous has a purpose. My purpose on the Earth is no greater than the next person’s. Once we realize this, we can be confident in our calling and work together to put them in full effect.

Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?

A: Anyone who knows me knows that I love to be with my family, and also I’m a self-proclaimed genealogist and history buff [laughs out loud], so I love to visit cemeteries and historical landmarks. I find myself sometimes just driving around and looking at all the history that surrounds us. But, as little as it’s known, I would have to say that my favorite two would be Barnsley Gardens and Roselawn [Museum], which was the home of the late Rev. Sam Jones — those are my getaways.

What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?

A: The best advice I’ve ever been given comes from the Bible. My mother, Phyllis Pullum, always made sure that I had a solid spiritual foundation so this is one of the first scriptures I was ever taught: Mark 12:30-31, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Do you have a personal philosophy?

A: My personal philosophy is “staying humble.” If you keep yourself humble, you will never be able to see your self as better or greater than anyone else. And that every dream that you have is absolutely possible.

My grandfather, the late Mr. Thomas Pullum Sr., used to always say it like this, “It doesn’t matter where you start, but it matters where you end up.”