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
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
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.