At the beginning of the month, President Barack H. Obama, declared June 2016 African-American Music Appreciation Month! The President praised Black music as “among the most innovative and powerful art the world has ever known.” He said, “it accompanies us in our daily lives, and it has rung out at turning points in our history and demonstrated how our achievements as a culture go hand-in-hand with our progress as a Nation. During African-American Music Appreciation Month, we honor the artists who, through this music, bring us together, show us a true reflection of ourselves, and inspire us to reach for the harmony that lies beyond our toughest struggles.”
President Obama has publicly expressed his love for hip-hop and music by Black artists. During a meeting in April for My Brother’s Keeper, a program that seeks to address opportunity gaps for men of color, the President met with Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Chance the Rapper, Pusha T and Common. At a meeting in January, the President invited Grammy winner Kendrick Lamar, whose album ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ is the President’s favorite album, to the Oval Office. The President and First Lady are also friends with Beyonce and Jay Z.
In the proclamation, President Obama said, “this month, we celebrate the music that reminds us that our growth as a Nation and as people is reflected in our capacity to create great works of art. Let us recognize the performers behind this incredible music, which has compelled us to stand up — to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country’s enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.”
Read the full proclamation here.