This article was originally published on BLAC Detroit Magazine.

June is Black Music Appreciation Month, and this year, President Biden has declared that it will be a time to celebrate the profound and powerful impact that Black music has had on American culture.

Music has the power to lift our spirits and inspire us. Music has a unique ability to unite people of all races and backgrounds. It is a music that is deeply rooted in the African American experience, and it has shaped American music in a way that no other music has. This month, let us take the time to celebrate the legacy of Black music and the impact it has had on our culture.

“Throughout the decades and across the country, Black music has fueled a myriad of genres — from rhythm and blues to jazz, gospel, country, rap and more,” President Biden said in his proclamation.

Black music has always been a source of strength and resilience for the African American community, and this month we celebrate that music and its impact on our culture.

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The music created by Black artists continues to influence musicians of all persuasions, entertain people of all backgrounds, and shape the story of our Nation. During Black Music Appreciation Month, we honor Black musicians, singers, and contributors to the music industry — past and present — whose innovative talents unite us in joy as much as in sorrow and healing.

“For generations, Black music has conveyed the hopes and struggles of a resilient people — spirituals mourning the original sin of slavery and later heralding freedom from bondage, hard truths told through jazz and the sounds of Motown during the Civil Rights movement, and hip-hop and rhythm and blues that remind us of the work that still lies ahead,” President Biden said.

We pay homage to the musical legends whose artistic expressions help build community, generate empathy, and foster a sense of shared identity. And we celebrate Black artists who have used their songs to stand up to injustice, fight for social change, and inspire hope.

Black music has always been a unifying force in our country, and this month we recommit to ensuring it thrives for generations to come. So let us celebrate Black music and its power to bring us together, heal our divisions, and give voice to the full range of human experience. And let us build on this legacy by ensuring that all our young people have the opportunity to learn about and experience the music of Black Americans.

As we do, may we also remember the words of Duke Ellington, who said, “There is only one music — good music.”

This Black Music Appreciation Month, let us take the time to celebrate the legacy of Black music and the impact it has had on our culture. Let us also remember the Black musicians who have made an indelible mark on American music, and let us continue to support Black music and Black musicians in their efforts to create new music that will inspire us.

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