It wasn’t an economic or domestic policy proclamation, but an African-American music proclamation. It’s the beginning of the month and the president has designated June African-American Music Appreciation Month.
“From the cadenced hums of spirituals to the melodies of rhythm and blues, African-American music has been used to communicate, to challenge, to praise and to uplift in times of both despair and triumph. The rhythmic chords embedded in spirituals have long expressed a deep faith in the power of prayer, and brought hope to slaves toiling in fields,” the President said.
The president acknowledged that African-Americans continue to create new musical genres and transform musical formats.
But more so than just notes and chords, music has had a much deeper meaning in the African-American community. Last year President Obama expressed that African-American music has conveyed the hopes and hardships of a people who have struggled, preserved and overcome. He also expressed that it provides a common soundtrack for people of many cultures and backgrounds.
In Philadelphia, Black Music Month was founded more than 30 years ago. It includes a month-long celebration of events and shows featuring artists from jazz, hip hop, rap and other genres. This year, the Roots kick off the famed music month in Philly on Saturday, June 4.
(Photo: Mike Brown/Getty Images)