African-American Music Appreciation Month is an annual celebration of African-American music in the United States. It was initiated as Black Music Month by President Jimmy Carter who, on June 7, 1979, decreed that June would be the month of black music. Similar presidential proclamations have been made annually since then.
In 2009, the commemoration was given its current name by President Barack Obama.
Here at Black Men In America.com, we celebrate Black music every day on our Music Page. Click here to enjoy our wide range of black artists.
Last year, Janice Williams wrote an article in Newsweek.com about why Black Music Month matters. In her article Janice writes:
“Long before Paul Whiteman, a bandleader, orchestral director, violinist and composer dubbed himself “The King of Jazz” back in the 1920s, Joseph Oliver, aka King Oliver, was pioneering the sound of jazz and Dixieland down in Louisiana with the syrupy sound of his cornet. In fact, it was King Oliver’s melodic compositions back in the early 1900s that influenced the iconic and brassy sound of Louis Armstrong, who is considered one of the greatest trumpet players of all time.
Even Elvis Presley, who has long been revered as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, was heavily influenced by the sound and swagger of Chuck Berry, a guitarist, singer and songwriter who forged a style of rhythm and blues back in the 1950s that ultimately led to the creation of rock music. Elvis’ own discography features a few songs originally composed and performed by Berry, including classics like “Maybellene” and “Memphis, Tennessee.”
Just about every genre of music has, in some way, been touched and influenced by African-Americans. That’s why in 1979, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the month of June as Black Music Month.
The month-long observance, which was first inducted on June 7, 1979, was created to recognize and celebrate the historical influence African-Americans have had on the music industry and is intended to pay homage to the many artists, writers, songs and albums that have shaped American pop culture and the inspiring musical moments that have brought citizens—white, black and every other skin color—together.”