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Celebrating Black Music:  How did I not know?

image of musical instruments and Black Music Month

Hold up…am I the only one who did not know that June marks Black Music Month? This celebration has been around since Jimmy Carter made it official during his presidency in 1979.

I have no excuse for not knowing. . .so now I know that June is a time to celebrate the rich and diverse contributions of Black musicians to the cultural tapestry of the world. Mind Blown!!  Originally a way of promoting Black music, the month has evolved to be both promotional and celebratory.

Music has always been a powerful force in the Black community, serving as a source of inspiration and resilience.  During the Civil Rights Movement, songs like “A Change is Gonna Come” by Sam Cooke and “Mississippi Goddam” by Nina Simone became anthems, galvanizing support and solidarity.  Moreover, artists like Duke Ellington and Little Richard took many risks to break the color barrier and pushed the envelope by refusing to play to segregated audiences. Band leader Benny Goodman was the first to integrate his orchestra.

In case you missed it…I highly recommend Summer of Soul, a 2021 documentary that was sheer joy to watch – created from “found” footage of a legendary concert series in 1969 in Mount Morris Park. The footage is riveting, and the music is almost life-changing, performed by musicians Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, Sly & the Family Stone, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Mahalia Jackson, B.B. King, The 5th Dimension and more.

And, if anyone cares, here is one of my personal favorite songs from Summer of Soul.  (showing my age but this was one of the anthems of my youth.) #BlackMusicMonth #BlackMusicMatters #AgeofAquarius 🎵🎶


Article exclusively written for
Authored by Margaret Baxter