Even as our nation is in the grips of a necessary battle against injustice and institutionalized racism, we will not temper the celebration of our culture and our contributions to it.
June is African-American Music Appreciation Month and typically there are scores of live concerts and performances to honor the beauty, art, respite, truth, wisdom, information, strength, joy and freedom in the music Black people have created in this country – no matter the circumstances – and still create to this day.
But since live gatherings are not possible in the foreseeable future, Good Black News wants to provide another way to honor our past and present musical greats during this time. All month, we will be offering playlists from myriad genres, artists and themes save one: they will all be in tribute to African American music.
To kick us off first is GBN contributor Marlon West‘s expansive offering. In Marlon’s words:
“It’s June and that brings African-American Music Appreciation Month! While President Jimmy Carter initiated as “Black Music Month” back in 1979, I’ll admit, that I was sleeping on it until it was rebranded as African-American Music Appreciation Month by President Barack Obama.
In his 2016 proclamation, he noted that African-American music and musicians have helped this nation “to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.”
Here’s my freewheeling, daylong, genre-jumping offering celebrating AAMAM. In the weeks to come, I’ll do deep dives on specific styles and/or artists. So get ready to immerse yourself in the music of your favorite Black artists and genres.
Whether it’s Jazz or Neo-Soul or classic Rhythm & Blues or hip-hop, let the music speak to you. Share old favorites and the newly discovered on social media using #AfricanAmericanMusicAppreciationMonth and #AAMAM.
And always stay safe, sane, and kind you all. Damned if that ain’t getting harder to do the days.”