The United States has been celebrating African-American Music Appreciation Month in June since 1979. The month of June is set aside to appreciate the contributions of African-American musicians, composers, singers, and songwriters in American culture. The month honors the history and rich African traditions that gave birth to different styles of music such as blues, rhythm and blues, rap, hip-hop, jazz, barbershop, and swing. It is also the month to celebrate creative inspiration and appreciate the impact that African-American music has had on generations of performers and music lovers! From tales of slavery and racism and fighting for their basic human rights to finding their heritage and values in their lyrics, Black music covers a vast range of topics that have great significance for this community. Over the years, we have seen Black musicians reach great heights, not only on official music record charts but also at entertainment award ceremonies.
While President Jimmy Carter designated June as Black Music Month in 1979, it wasn’t until 2000 when the presidential proclamation for the month was signed. President Barack Obama, in 2009, went on to rename the month from Black Music Month to its current name, African-American Music Appreciation Month.
On June 1, President Joe Biden signed a Proclamation on Black Music Appreciation Month, 2021 stating, “Throughout our history, there has been no richer influence on the American songbook than Black music and culture. From early spirituals born out of the unconscionable hardships of slavery; to the creation of folk and gospel; to the evolution of rhythm and blues and jazz; to the ascendance of rock and roll, rap, and hip-hop — Black music has shaped our society, entertained and inspired us, and helped write and tell the story of our Nation… … I call upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs that raise awareness and appreciation of Black music.: …Read the entire official 2021 proclamation