How Will You Celebrate African-American Music Appreciation Month?
June marks the celebration of African-American Music Appreciation Month, which focuses on the many musical contributions of African-Americans.
The celebration was created in 1979 through the collective efforts of Kenny Gamble, Ed Wright, and Dyana Williams, who sought to celebrate the rich histories and enduring legacies of African-American singers, songwriters, composers, and musicians. On June 7, 1979, President Jimmy Carter signed the first proclamation deeming June as Black Music Month.
In 2009, President Barack Obama renamed the celebration as African-American Music Appreciation Month. In his May 31, 2016 proclamation, President Obama narrowed the focus of the celebration to artists from the United States and how important their contributions have been to the entire world. He wrote, “A vital part of our nation’s proud heritage, African-American music exemplifies the creative spirit at the heart of American identity and is among the most innovative and powerful art the world has ever known. It accompanies us in our daily lives, and it has rung out at turning points in our history and demonstrated how our achievements as a culture go hand-in-hand with our progress as a nation. During African-American Music Appreciation Month, we honor the artists who, through this music, bring us together, show us a true reflection of ourselves, and inspire us to reach for the harmony that lies beyond our toughest struggles.”
Virtually every genre of music has, in some way, been touched and influenced by African-Americans. At its core, African-American Music Appreciation Month pays homage to the many artists and albums that have shaped American pop culture and highlights inspiring musical moments that have brought citizens of every race and ethnicity together. Over the years, African-American Music Appreciation Month has grown into a nationally celebrated and revered occasion, with events held across the country. You can find plenty of local concerts and commemorative events here, so get out and join the celebration!
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