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THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 28, 2010

AFRICAN-AMERICAN MUSIC APPRECIATION MONTH, 2010

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Music can tell a story, assuage our sorrows, provide

blessing and redemption, and express a soul’s sublime and

powerful beauty. It inspires us daily, giving voice to the

human spirit. For many, including the African-American

community, music unites individuals through a shared heritage.

During African-American Music Appreciation Month, we celebrate

the extraordinary legacy of African-American singers, composers,

and musicians, as well as their indelible contributions to our

Nation and our world.

Throughout our history, African-American music has

conveyed the hopes and hardships of a people who have struggled,

persevered and overcome. Through centuries of injustice, music

comforted slaves, fueled a cultural renaissance, and sustained a

movement for equality. Today, from the shores of Africa and the

islands of the Caribbean to the jazz clubs of New Orleans and

the music halls of Detroit, African-American music reflects the

rich sounds of many experiences, cultures, and locales.

African-American musicians have created and expanded

a variety of musical genres, synthesizing diverse artistic

 

traditions into a distinctive soundscape. The soulful strains

of gospel, the harmonic and improvisational innovations of jazz,

the simple truth of the blues, the rhythms of rock and roll, and

the urban themes of hip-hop all blend into a refrain of song and

narrative that traces our Nation’s history.

These quintessentially American styles of music have helped

provide a common soundtrack for people of diverse cultures and

backgrounds, and have joined Americans together not just on the

dance floor, but also in our churches, in our public spaces,

and in our homes. This month, we honor the talent and genius of

African-American artists who have defined, shaped, and enriched

our country through music, and we recommit to sharing their

splendid gifts with our children and grandchildren.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the

United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested

in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do

hereby proclaim June 2010 as African-American Music Appreciation

Month. I call upon public officials, educators, and the people

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of the United States to observe this month with appropriate

activities and programs that raise awareness and foster

appreciation of African-American music.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this

twenty-eighth day of May, in the year of our Lord

two thousand ten, and of the Independence of the United States

of America the two hundred and thirty-fourth.

BARACK OBAMA

 

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