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The president of the 2022 “Black Music Appreciation Month Proclamation” stated: “I thought there was no music that had a deeper and more powerful influence on building the score of American music such as Black music.”

Indeed. No matter the era where Black music was written or recorded, the effects were timeless.

Throughout June, we celebrate Black Music Awards Month – also known as African -American Music Awards Month. President Jimmy Carter first ordered it on June 7, 1979. Since then, other presidents have claimed Black Music Awards Month officially recognized as a national commemoration during the month of 2000.

So, what is “Black” music? Is the music made by, supported by, and mostly listened to by Black people? Or are specific genres that come with Black Americans?

It’s all of the above – and it’s deeper.

Genres such as Negro spirituality, blues, Black gospel, jazz, soul, and rap, born of Black American history and experience, include the African diaspora. Poetic lyrics, rhythm, intense emotions and tension, and unique, skillful use of instruments give voice to one person and influenced other genres.

Black music has played many roles in the African-American community. It leads to Black pride, freedom of expression, and self -acceptance into the community.

Black music is accompanied to set the tone and emphasize the rhyme of the words spoken and the preaching sermon. During chattel slavery, Black music was used to tell about secret church services and embedded codes needed to escape. They also pushed the Civil Rights Movement.

A few years ago, I met with a Civil Rights Veteran during a 9 -day Civil Rights Travel Tour. He stated that when strategies such as door-to-door contact, marches, protests, sit-ins, and speeches aid the movement, the “song of freedom” is a key strategy.

Freedom songs empower those who are fighting for their cause, help people about the injustices committed by Black people, identify what they are fighting for, and unite communities to implement change.

Lyrics often provide solutions to some of the problems faced by Black Americans and tell stories with honesty and sincerity.

In addition to setting music for a variety of issues, many of the African-American artists ’“ old school ”music renditions were about love and relationships in the Black community that exuded an aura of sensuality, commitment, family, joy, and heartbreak. Often, the same musicians and artists were forbidden to stay in hotels where they perform. However, when these legends were made, they showed artistic talent and genius without the help of today’s computerized technology that helps artists sound better.

No subhuman or unintelligent being, as Black Americans are labeled, could have written lyrics that still penetrate many hearts with passion and meaning and rhythmically stir all of our beings, causing us to laugh or shed tears.

Black Americans have also contributed a lot to the music business outside of performances. While it is common for Black artists to be exploited more than White artists, largely because of systemic inequality, many closed deals that increased their star power and brought them wealth to pass along to their heirs.

Black artists continue to set trends, and the future looks bright because of technological advances and the value of Black music.

While the Black community doesn’t ever need permission to honor music’s outstanding contributions to the world, Black Music Awards Month is a time set aside by the nation to honor artists who, through powerful music, unite us, ensuring that we have more. common than we think, and inspires us to commit to solving the most difficult challenges in life that often begin with just a note, followed by something else.

– The Vacaville author is an advocate of social issues. E-mail: damitchell@earthlink.net

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