It’s Black Music Month! June is a month for all Americans to focus on and celebrate the creativity and influence of black artists in music and culture.
From the anthems chanted at protests, to classic rock and modern Jazz, black musicians and artists have influenced every facet of music and culture in America.
Formerly known as African American Music Appreciation Month, Black Music Month was created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979 to honor the impact black music has in our society and culture in America.
Though our specialty at KJEM 89.9 FM is Jazz, which was created by African American artists over 100 years ago, we also want to point out other genres created by black musicians: Gospel, Folk, Blues, R&B, Hip hop/Rap, and Rock and Roll (among others).
At KJEM, we focus on the music. Black Music Month is a way to highlight and celebrate black music. And, especially with the Black Lives Matter movement, it is also a timely month to learn more about the racial history of the music and radio industry, from Jim-Crow era segregation of “white radio” from “black radio” to the role radio played in the Civil Rights movement.
American music (and radio) would not be what it is today without the enormous contribution of black artists, musicians, performers, DJ’s, emcees, radio station owners, producers and distributors.
Listen to KJEM on 89.9 FM on the Palouse, online at KJEMJazz.org or on the Northwest Public Broadcasting app. You can also tell your Smart Speaker to “Play K-J-E-M”.