Every year, when the calendar turns to June, it's time to tune our ears and hearts to a rhythm integral to the American. It's African-American Music Appreciation Month!
The resonance of African-American Music reverberates through every corner of our society. It's in the striking, brassy notes of Jazz, the infectious rhythm of R&B, and the poignant words of rap and hip-hop. It's in the spirituals sung by enslaved Africans, the fiery lyrics of protest songs, and the soulful strains of blues.
A Melody that Originated in 1979
The genesis of this month-long celebration dates back to 1979, when President Jimmy Carter, recognizing the profound impact of Black Music on American culture, declared June as Black Music Month. However, it took years of campaigning by celebrated journalist and community activist Dyana Williams and Congressman Chaka Fattah for the presidential proclamation to be signed by President Clinton in 2000. The month was renamed African-American Music Appreciation Month by President Obama in 2009, emphasizing our music's distinct and rich African heritage.
Why Celebrate African-American Music Appreciation Month?
Every note and beat in African-American Music holds the power to connect, heal, uplift, and inspire. It's a universal language that transcends boundaries, expressing shared human experiences. Often our music is a powerful medium for social and political commentary, providing a voice for those who have been marginalized and silenced. It has been and continues to be instrumental in challenging injustice, inspiring change, and advocating for equality.
African-American Music Appreciation Month also serves as a time to acknowledge and honor the countless African-American artists who have not only shaped and defined the musical landscape of America but have also profoundly influenced global music culture. From legends such as Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Aretha Franklin to contemporary icons like Beyoncé, Kendrick Lamar, and Childish Gambino, African-American musicians have consistently pushed boundaries, setting new standards and trends for the world.
Celebrate With Us
We are celebrating this month by focusing on the wide range of talented musicians hailing from Baltimore. Follow us on Instagram to learn more about Baltimore club music and artists of every genre. Then head on over to our Youtube channel and listen to our Baltimore Playlist. Find out about some of the hottest artists coming out of Baltimore today.
This June, turn up the volume, open your hearts and minds, and embrace African-American music's unparalleled diversity and richness.