Celebrate the end of Black Music Month with this timeline highlighting over 100 years of music created and produced by influential African-Americans. Kenny Gamble, Ed Wright, and Dyana Williams developed the idea for Black Music Month back in 1979 as a way to annually show appreciate for black music icons. After lobbying, President Jimmy Carter hosted a reception to formally recognize the month. From then on, June became the period to commemorate the greats such as Frankie Lymon, Billie Holiday, and Michael Jackson. The month has grown from small gatherings to large events hosted nationwide. President Obama has since renamed the national observance and has proclaimed it as African-American Music Appreciation Month. Whatever it’s called, the rich legacy of black music will continue to be celebrated every day, all around the world.
Image Credit: Photo of Billie Holiday (c.1948) by Ralph F. Seghers c/o Ken Seghers. CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.