Monday, June 1, 2015


African-American Music Appreciation Month is a celebration for African American Music every year in the month of June in the United States. It was originally started as Black Music Month by President Jimmy Carter, who on June 7, 1979, decreed that June would be the month of black music. Since then, presidents have announced to Americans to celebrate Black Music Month. Fo...r each year of his term, President Barack Obama has announced the observance under a new title, African-American Music Appreciation Month.
In an Interview with Dyana Williams of Frequency News, Visionary Kenny Gamble explains how Black Music Month came into Fruition...
Williams: What inspired you and Ed Wright to establish June as Black Music Month?
Gamble: ... I suggested that I could help and Wright, Rodney Jones and others were supportive. Wright was the link to the DJs, as he was a prominent DJ in Cleveland. Under the Black Music Association (BMA), we then created four divisions: Marketing/Merchandising, Record Company Executives, Communications (DJs, TV executives/personalities and journal- ists) and Entertainers/Artists. The independent industry was collapsing into the major companies and they (Columbia, Warner, RCA) and others saw the viability of Black music. We were able to get a lot of support from them. They started Black music divisions and the sales of Black music in- creased. Initially, Black Music Month started as an economic program more than anything else. Also, the Country Music Association (CMA) was a model that we looked at. The CMA has worked to establish October as Country Music Month, so we picked June as a time where we could con- centrate on recognizing and celebrating the economic and cultural power of Black music and those who made and promoted it. The slogan we came up with was, “Black Music Is Green” – it was about economics. So in an effort to galvanize, as well as create an advocacy entity, Black Music Month was born.
For so long, Black folks had been pushed into a hole, like we didn’t count. The BMA made a difference by working together.
Dyana Williams is the former wife of Kenny Gamble.
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