MIL-OSI USA: Booker Introduces Resolution Recognizing African American Contributions to Music

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US Senate News:

Source: United States Senator for New Jersey Cory Booker

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a resolution celebrating the contributions of African Americans to the musical heritage of the United States and designating June as African American Music Appreciation Month. In addition, the resolution recognizes the lack of access to arts education and training for African American students and calls for greater access to music education.

“For hundreds of years, African American music has been an integral part of America’s cultural identity,” said Senator Booker. “This resolution honors the extraordinary contributions of Black musicians like Aretha Franklin, Prince, Miles Davis, and so many more who have shaped our nation’s musical landscape. Investing in educating more students about the richness of African American music will help ensure that future generations can appreciate and contribute to the innovation, creativity, and rich heritage that defines American music.” 

“From Dayton to Detroit, Memphis to St. Louis, Black musicians have created and shaped our culture and music from the very beginning of our country. Dayton, Ohio – known as the “Land of Funk’’– helped give rise to the mixture of soul, jazz, and rhythm and blues that created the funk genre, and continues to produce talented musicians today,” said Senator Brown. “This legislation will finally give these pioneers the recognition they deserve.”

“Despite their many contributions to the American experience, Black artists, both past and present, are often overlooked and lack access to music education” said Senator Butler. “This resolution celebrates the powerful impact musicians have had on culture, and emphasizes the need to empower and support the next generation of talent.”

“Music and art help us understand our history better, connect with others, and share our own experiences. But for many Black artists and musicians, their rich contributions to American culture have been underappreciated,” said Senator Durbin. “In introducing this resolution with Senator Booker, I hope to see the Senate give Black artists the recognition they deserve and promote access to music education for underserved students.”

“The music scene in Minnesota has been greatly influenced by African-American music. From Sounds of Blackness and the Time to the duo of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, African-American musicians have played a significant role in American culture,” said Senator Klobuchar. “Minnesota is also celebrated as the birthplace of the legendary Prince and his iconic Purple Rain. His music touched hearts, opened minds, and inspired millions around the world to dance. This resolution recognizes the important contributions that African-American musicians have made and continue to make to the cultural fabric and musical heritage of our country.”

“African American music has always been an integral part of our culture, shaping and enriching countless genres across generations. This resolution recognizes the creative ingenuity of Black musicians throughout our history – and the influence that Black artists continue to have —while encouraging greater musical education so young people have the opportunity to explore and continue this legacy of artistic excellence,” said Senator Van Hollen.

“The National Association for Music Education is proud to endorse the African American Music Appreciation Month resolution. Introduced by Senator Cory Booker, this resolution highlights the rich and impactful contributions of African American musicians to the musical history of the United States. Additionally, this resolution shines a spotlight on the disparity in access to music education for African American students, and the lack of representation for African Americans in the music education profession. The musical history of the United States is as diverse as the country itself, but to continue our tradition of culturally diverse musical offerings, we must ensure all students have access to a comprehensive and culturally relevant music education. Thank you to Senator Booker for recognizing June as African American Music Appreciation Month and for your continued work to broaden access to music and the arts,” said Deborah Confredo, President of The National Association for Music Education (NAfME).

The resolution is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Laphonza Butler (D-CA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

To read the full text of the resolution, click here.

MIL OSI USA News