On May 31, 2022, President Biden issued a proclamation to reestablish the annual month-long observance and celebration of Black music that was created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.
The official name of this month has changed throughout the years from “Black Music Month” to “African American Music Appreciation Month” and by popular demand President Biden has brought the name back to what the music industry and the people responded best to…..
“Black Music Appreciation Month”
Black people in America have created or inspired many genres and sub-genres of music. Since 1979, we have celebrated all these genres in the month of June. Although there are talented Black artists in ALL genres of music, in June we celebrate R&B (rhythm and blues/soul music), Gospel, Jazz, Blues, Funk, Rap and Hip-Hop.
When I was the Black Music Buyer in the late eighties for Wherehouse Entertainment, my title changed a bit through the years as the music industry amended the name of the overall genre of music. In the 90’s my job title changed to “Urban Music Buyer”. There were many mixed reviews of this new “industry standard” name so some people continued to call it Black Music. Others were “only OK” with calling it Urban Music. The entire Black community never fully embraced this “Urban Music” moniker. I hated changing my business card to “Director of Urban Music.” There were several high-profile music conferences where “I forgot” my business card back at the office (wink-wink). I would shake hands, take photos, and hug people but I often just verbally gave out my contact info.
In June as Black Music Month emerged you would see and hear “Black Music Month” in independent music stores and radio stations that were within the Black communities. In some of the BIG chain music stores and cross-over radio stations you would hear the term “Urban Music Month.”
Just in case you are wondering what a cross-over station is?
“A cross-over radio station or program plays music or artists that appeal to diverse types of audiences or people. You could hear a mix of genres on these stations that appeal to all”
A few music chains continued to embrace the term “Black Music Month” if their customers requested or demanded them to keep it.
Of course, Wherehouse Music was known as “the place” where you could find an amazing selection of Black music, so I was not ready to just abandon the term so easily. Eventually we did change the store signing to Urban Music and then I occasionally “remembered” to bring my business card to conferences (LOL).
The term “Urban Music” had a good run until someone decided it was time to change the “umbrella genre” once again to “African American Music.”
So, in June 2016 President Obama officially proclaimed June as “African American Music Appreciation Month”.
In June 2021, President Biden proclaimed June as “Black Music Appreciation Month. Whether you embrace the term African American or Black American, I feel you will appreciate his proclamation of 2021 and 2022
Here is the “Black Music Appreciation Month” proclamation of 2021
And… Here is the “Black Music Appreciation Month” proclamation of 2022
During “Black Music Appreciation Month” artists and record labels release titles that you may have been waiting for all-year long. We often see special collectors’ packages released to commemorate B.M.A.M. You will see more artists out on tour and performing live shows in June and throughout the summer. June is usually the kick-off to ALL the HOT NEW TITLES that will dominate dancefloors, parties, family reunions, and radio through the summer.
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