Much of what’s considered “American music” stems from the African/African-American/Black experience; music genres (and sub-genres) including R&B, Blues, Rock’n’roll, Jazz, Funk, Soul, Reggae, Salsa, Ragtime, Gospel, Rock’n’Roll, disco, and some scholars and historians would even argue country music, too.
President Barack Obama is on record as saying he’s a fan of Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, and Jay-Z. Not to mention that one time he bust out singing an Al Green song! On Tuesday (May 31st), The President officially announced that June 2016 is “African-American Music Appreciation Month”, an extension of President Jimmy Carter’s 1979 initiative “Black Music Month.”
An excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation reads:
“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.
….This month, we celebrate the music that reminds us that our growth as a Nation and as people is reflected in our capacity to create great works of art. Let us recognize the performers behind this incredible music, which has compelled us to stand up — 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.”
The President wants educators to observe the month by erecting programs and activities that raise awareness of music composed, performed and arranged by African Americans.