President Obama Proclaims June 2016 as African-American Music Appreciation Month

Music News

President Barack Obama’s tenure as Music-Lover-in-Chief has had more than its fair share of highlights, from him singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” in 2012, to sharing a couple of excellent Spotify playlists last year, to hand-picking Kendrick Lamar’s “How Much a Dollar Cost?” as his favorite track of 2015. So it’s a pleasant non-surprise that President Obama has now declared June 2016 to be “African-American Music Appreciation Month.”

In the presidential proclamation, dated May 31, President Obama hailed African-American music’s power and resonance, writing:

Songs by African-American musicians span the breadth of the human experience and resonate in every corner of our Nation—animating our bodies, stimulating our imaginations, and nourishing our souls. In the ways they transform real stories about real people into art, these artists speak to universal human emotion and the restlessness that stirs within us all. African-American music helps us imagine a better world, and it offers hope that we will get there together.

President Obama’s eloquent proclamation also “call[s] upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs that raise awareness and foster appreciation of music that is composed, arranged, or performed by African Americans.”

You can find the full presidential proclamation here, check out President Obama’s 2015 Spotify playlists here and read Paste’s Shannon Houston’s powerful take on rap culture and race here.

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