"African-American music exemplifies the creative spirit at the heart of American identity"
In an official document published on May 31, Barack Obama proclaimed June 2016 African-American Music Appreciation Month.
In the proclamation, Obama calls African-American music a “vital part” of America’s heritage and declares June a month to honour artists who, through their 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”.
Back in 1979, the 39th US president Jimmy Carter dubbed June Black Music Month.
With the more up-to-date moniker, Obama hopes June will be a month of celebration and a chance for people to “recognise 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.”
Obama finalises the proclamation with: “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 2016 as African-American Music Appreciation Month.”
You can read the official proclamation in full on The White House website.
Last month Obama was joined at The White House by rapper Macklemore during the president’s Weekly Address.
Macklemore was there to discuss opioid addiction in the States. “I take this personally,” the rapper stated in the video. “I have abused prescription drugs and I have battled with addiction. If I hadn’t of got the help that I needed when I needed it, I definitely would not be here today. I want to help others facing the same challenges that I did.”