June is known as Black Music Month, put into effect by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. President Barack Obama now recognizes it as African-American Music Appreciation Month. You may see a few icons’ faces before your news goes to commercial, or you may hear some songs you haven’t heard for years come on the radio. I didn’t learn about Black Music Month until I got to high school, when our Black Student Union held dances to celebrate it. It’s not as recognized as, say, Black History Month.
I may only be 21 but I’m an old soul, especially when it comes to music. I was lucky enough to grow up on legends like the Isley Brothers, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Frankie Beverly & Maze, and the list can go on. I once bet my dad that I could tell him when The Commodores came out with their song Zoom and I won. I often feel like I was born in the wrong era because I appreciate “oldies” more than today’s “music”.
I hear a lot of people say that this generation of kids are doomed musically. We’re in a music world without Michael Jackson and Luther Vandross. Who do they have to really listen to? Trey Songz? Rihanna? Mindless Behavior? I love Beyonce just as much as the next person, and there’s no doubt Jennifer Hudson has some chops on her, but we’ve already proved that nobody can sang like Whitney.
Here’s some ways you can celebrate Black Music Month with your kids:
These are just a few ideas. Black music is part of our culture, and it’s so much more than R&B, soul, and hip-hop. Have your kids research other music genres like jazz and gospel. Encourage them to learn an instrument. Keep black music alive by passing it along to your kids.
BMWK family, what are top 5 songs of all time?