The Writers Monthly – July, 2019
A Day in History
Saxophonist Duane Parham
In 1979, President Jimmy Carter declared June Black Music Month. It pays tribute to the rich legacy of black music in transforming music in America and the world.
Examination of America’s calendar for days of celebration honoring African Americans, one finds a disproportionate number compared to whites. Even though blacks have made enormous contributions in every aspect of the American culture, credit for those contributions is scarce. In fact, history reveals whites stole many black inventions and contributions because they were the dominant culture. And…even though it took years for Congressional approval, African Americans can celebrate one holiday based on a black man’s contribution to society—Martin Luther King’s Birthday on January 15th. Take a look at the African American Calendar of Honor:
December 26th – January 1st – Kwanzaa, a Celebration of African American Heritage
February – Black History Month
June – Black Music Month
August 17th – Marcus Garvey’s Birthday
2019 Black Music Month Celebrations in America:
Philadelphia will celebrate with Roots Picnic, Live Jazz and the Rennie Harris and Pure Movement, a professional street dance theater group.
On June 21-23, 2019, a Black Music Month Conference Awards Show will take place at the Millennium Buffalo Hotel & Resort in Buffalo, N.Y.
On June 27, 2019, a concert featuring many prominent musicians will be held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African Americans in Detroit. Participating artists are Joan Belgrave, Mark Scott of the Miracles, Motown Legends Gospel Choir and the Lisa McCall Dancers.
Black music is the foundation of practically every genre of American music. From jazz to country, African Americans have pioneered and carved out the basics, and stood helplessly by, while whites latched onto the results of their talents and labor and become financial giants in the music industry. However today, black artists have learned immeasurably from their white counterparts, and are not only the creators and performers, but are financial recipients of their own creations. How are you celebrating Black Music Month?