Harris, Booker Introduce Resolution Designating June as African American Music Appreciation Month

Press Release

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Lawmakers call for greater access to music education for Black students

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) on Monday introduced a resolution honoring the contributions of African Americans to America’s musical heritage. The resolution also calls for greater access to music education for African American students. A recent Department of Education study found that only seven percent of music teacher licensure candidates were African American.

An excerpt from the resolution follows:

“The Senate recognizes the contributions of African Americans to the musical heritage of the United States; the wide array of talented and popular African-American musical artists, composers, song-writers, and musicians who are underrecognized for contributions to music; the achievements, talent, and hard work of African-American pioneer artists, and the obstacles that those artists overcame to gain recognition; the need for African-American students to have greater access to and participation in music education in schools across the United States; and Black History Month and African-American Music Appreciation Month as an important time to celebrate the impact of the African-American musical heritage on the musical heritage of the United States; and to encourage greater access to music education so that the next generation may continue to greatly contribute to the musical heritage of the United States.”

Full text of the resolution can be viewed here.

The resolution is also co-sponsored in the Senate by Senators Doug Jones (D-AL), Chris Coons (D-DE), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH).

The resolution is supported by the following organizations that are advocating for increased access to music education in our nation’s schools:

American School Band Directors Association (ASBDA)

American Composers Forum

American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA)

American String Teachers Assocation (ASTA)

Arts Ed NJ

Barbershop Harmony Society

Chorus America Association

CMA Foundation

College Band Directors National Association

Conn-Selmer, Inc.

Education Through Music, Inc.

El Sistema USA

Gordon Institute for Music Learning

J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc.

Jazz at Lincoln Center

League of American Orchestras

Little Kids Rock

Metropolitan Opera Guild, Inc.

Music and the Brain

Music for AllMusic Teachers National Association (MTNA)

Music Together Worldwide

Music Travel Consultants

Musicians Toolkit

NAMM Foundation

National Concerts, LLC

National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS)

National Music Council

Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE)

Percussive Arts Society (PAS)

Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America

Progressive Music

Quadrant Arts Education Research

Quaver Music

Rock and Roll Forever Foundation

The Recording Academy

Save The Music Foundation

Strathmore

Winter Guard International (WGI)

Wurrly LLC

 

10 COMMENTS

  1. That’s what February is for….or can we change it to American history month now? You know….something to bring some sort of unity instead of segregating blacks from the rest of Americans?

    • Many blacks want to segregate themselves… their own proms … graduation ceremonies, etc. Who are we to stop them?

  2. We need more unity, not more division. I support more music education (of ALL genres) for ALL children. Why does the left wing, which claims to want to eliminate racism, have to racially divide everything? Its destructive, not constructive.

    • I think you’re drastically belittling the influence of Black artists on the landscape of modern music. Everyone from Bob Dylan to Elvis to Led Zeppelin to the Doors to today’s artists find their roots in Black music. These massive waves of successful white artists owe a debt of gratitude to Black artists of the past who have since been eclipsed due to opinions like yours.

      • Not true, Maynard. I belittled nothing. Unfortunately, you see everything in society and every opinion by others through your own self-imposed tinted glasses.

      • Our parents were professional musicians and raised us on classical music. We attended chamber music concerts, symphony concerts, operas, ballets. Performances of great violinists and pianists. They were not religious, so no gospel music. Some jazz was allowed in the house but only the great performers like Oscar Peterson, Errol Garner, etc. This shocked some of our white friends who thought we would be raised on rap and other nonsense. Each of us (there were 6 kids) were strongly encouraged to take up at least two instruments.

  3. So the black music where every other word is the N word and they celebrate raping and degrading women, using drugs, alcohol and pimping??
    Sounds about right!!

  4. I may be called “RACIST” but when is WHITE music month?
    I know ALL the words to ALL the rap “songs”. MFer, **tches, whores, and POP A CAP IN YO AZZ!

    • I’m sure you love your culture vultures like Elvis, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Clapton, Led Zeppelin; all who stole music from black folks and popularized it for themselves. But hey, some people actually remember history and choose not to be so naive. To paint rap music as simply profane, is a huge over exaggeration and just ignorant. There’s a reason why hip-hop is now the most popular genre in the world.

  5. This move will help keep funding music departments for the next century. No need for movies like Bring On The Boom. Why? Because it will now be racists to refuse to contribute to music departments that are fund raising during Black Music Appreciation Month. Brilliant political move!

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