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African American Music Appreciation Month: Home

June is the month dedicated to the appreciation of African American music. It was first created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 as Black Music Month and renamed by President Barak Obama to African American Music Appreciation Month in 2009.


Why Celebrate African American Music?

"America was the birthplace for many genres of music, including jazz and rock 'n' roll. Both have deep roots in the African American community. Throughout the 20 th century, these genres also helped change the cultural landscape. When people were divided because of race, music brought them together. When tragedies hit the nation, music brought people comfort, hope, and a way to express difficult emotions." -- Hoffman Academy

A Brief History of African American Music

"First came the Blues, rooted in African spirituals and work songs from the time of slavery. Then ragtime brought recognition to musicians like Scott Joplin. The rise of jazz in the 1920s helped bridge racial gaps as an art form by people of all origins.

The beats and sounds of these genres then influenced rock, soul, gospel, swing, be-bop, boogie-woogie, and so many more! Many famous rock artists, including the Rolling Stones and the Beatles, credit the Blues and jazz as major influences. In more recent decades, funk, Motown, and hip-hop gained popularity, bringing with them new styles of dance and song."  -- Hoffman Academy

Celebrate with MPL

This June, join MPL in celebrating four weeks of influential music artists who shaped America's music culture!

Blues and Jazz- Count Basie, Billie Holiday, B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald

Rock 'n' Roll- Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Funk & Motwon- Diana Ross, George Clinton, James Brown, Stevie Wonder

Queens of Pop & Soul- Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Etta James, Whitney Houston 

and lots MORE!

Check out our Spotify Playlist featuring these artists and their hits!

Books on African American Music