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Black Music Month: Historical voice in BLM movement


June is Black Music Month and this year it is more important than ever. Black musicians work is being used to raise awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. Black Music has always given a voice to those who were silenced by police brutality. Victims Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and Tony McDade experiences will be used to future push the demand for police reform in the USA.

What is Black Music month?

Now know as African-American Music Appreciation Month it is an annual celebration of African-American music in the United States. It was initiated as Black Music Month by President Jimmy Carter who, on June 7, 1979, declared June as the month of black music. June is a tribute to all the astonishing and breathtaking music that African Americans have produced over the centuries. It celebrates cultural contributions that African Americans have made to our nation through music. Notes a lyrics which speaks of the African American experience and over the centuries has been used to expand musical genres including blues, Hip Hop, rap, spirituals, folk music amongst others. 

Significance of the black music month in the Black Live matter Movement?

Music has become a huge voice in the Black Lives Matter movement. Music expresses feelings and emotions. It is a new type of voice. Songs speak of the issues and inequalities black men and women face every day in this world. That is why it is being used by many artists to express outrage and anger for the unjust killing of innocent black people at the hand of police officers. 

Black music’s affects on black lives matter movement

Artists created lyrics and music for multiple purposes: to support through long marches, for psychological strength during harassment and brutality and sometimes to send messages and motivate during low times. Black music has given a voice to the black lives matter movement. It is a voice that is heard all around the world. Black music gives a voice to those who were silenced by police brutality. Men and women like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor may be gone, but their stories will live on forever. The Music reminds people of the historical injustices men and women past and present have faced and is still used as a tool for change.

Many artists have made music for social justice /change.

Music has been a cornerstone of black struggles since slavery. In the 60s it reached new heights. Artist started using their song for social justice and change, Examples of artists who did this were Sam Cooke  with his song “A Change is Going to Come” and James Brown  with“ Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”. Both of these songs were released during the civil rights movement in America. They raised awareness of the inequality that African Americans had to face during these times. It was a sense of hope for African Americans that better times were coming and that they would be given their equal rights that they deserved. 

The 70s and 80s produced popular songs like “To be young, gifted, and black” by Simone, “What’s Going On” by Marvin Gaye, “Fight the Power” by Public Enemy, and many others. These artists’ messages spread to everyone in the country. Songs brought out inspiration and hope. 

In 2020 many artists in the black community are releasing music about the Black Lives matter movement. For example, rapper Lil Baby released a song called “The Bigger Picture”. The Bigger Picture speaks about the need for change in American society, a change that will create security and opportunity for those in the black community. New artist Breland is another example of a musician using his musical creations to speak out about social injustices and the need for change.

How can you celebrate black music month?

  1. Listen to songs from your favorite artists and share it with your family and friends. 
  2. 2. Explore new musicians from different musical genres and purchase their works
  3. Like and follow black musicians on social media

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