The Real Purpose of Black Music Month

We Usually Celebrate Our Groundbreaking and Game-changing Black Artists in June. On the 40th Anniversary, I Turned Towards the People Who Created the Culture and Shaped the Business

I love #BlackMusicMonth for obvious reasons, as a music and culture lover, as a former Black Music executive and as music journalist. However, I’ve learned over the years that the foundations of the celebration are much deeper than what BMM has evolved to be today.

To commemorate the 40th Anniversary of Black Music Month in 2019, I wanted to highlight the initial mission and purpose.

The idea of a month-long celebration of Black music’s contributions to American culture wasn’t just about historic observation and celebration; it was about the business of Black music, which was growing at a rapid pace in the ’70s. 

I wrote for Vibe about Philadelphia Soul architect Kenny Gamble and the consortium of Black music stakeholders operating as the Black Music Association, and their mission to bolster industry support and positioning of Black music, with the understanding that “Black Music is Green.”

Next, I implore you to make your way to Netflix — if you haven’t already — and watch the incredible Reggie Hudlin doc on behind the scenes move-maker and connector Clarence Avant. The Black Godfather isn’t just a documentary about an entertainment executive, it’s about the power of relationships.

#MusicSermon celebrates Black music all day, e’ry day (don’t forget to check out the #BlackMusicMonthMusicChallenge on Twitter and IG), but the stories behind the stories are key.

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