Black Music Month was inducted by President Jimmy Carter on June 7, 1979. President Barack Obama renamed the national observance as African-American Music Appreciation Month. The month-long observance during the month of June was created to recognize and celebrate the historical influence African-Americans have had on the music industry. It’s a time for all Americans to pay homage and celebrate the creativity and influence of black artists in music and culture.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is the actual birthplace of Black Music Month. It was conceived by legendary songwriter/producer and founder of Philadelphia International Records Kenny Gamble, broadcast executive Ed Wright, and radio personality Dyana Williams. Their vision resulted in millions of people each year focusing on and celebrating generations of musicians and artists whose talents and skill built a
foundation of musical ingenuity in America.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of black music genres:

  • Spiritual and Gospel Music
  • Black Folk Music
  • Blues
  • Jazz
  • Rhythm and Blues
  • Rock and Roll
  • Hip-Hop and Rap

In addition to creating distinct black music genres, African American musicians and artists have also developed and influenced classical music traditions, country and western music, military music, pop music, and dance music such as disco, techno and
house, among other genres and styles.

Music breaks barriers and moves people. It inspires generation after generation of artists and music lovers. Millions of people around the globe listen to and are touched by music that carries elements of African American musical traditions. Even though, EVERYDAY is a good day to celebrate the rich heritage of black music, how will you celebrate African American Music Appreciation Month this year?

Here are some ideas:

  1. Immerse yourself in the music of your favorite black musicians and artists.
  2. Discover new sounds and genres while revisiting long lost loves.
  3.  Share your favorite music or artists with the younger generations in your family to expose them to their rich culture & heritage.
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