FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2022
Booker Introduces Resolution Recognizing African American Contributions to Music
Washington, D.C. – 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 2022 as African American Music Appreciation Month. In addition, the resolution further recognizes the lack of access to arts education and training for African American students and calls for greater access to music education.
“From the early spirituals of people who were enslaved to the modern rhythm and blues, African American music is embedded into the cultural fabric of American life,” said Sen. Booker. “This resolution recognizes the incredible contributions Black musicians have made to our country and calls on us to expand access to music education so that future generations can appreciate and further contribute to the musical tradition of the United States.”
“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 Sen. Brown. “This legislation will finally give these pioneers the recognition they deserve.”
“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 Sen. Durbin. “In introducing this resolution with Senator Booker, I hope to see the Senate give these artists the recognition they have earned and celebrate the impact of their talents.”
“Minnesota’s music scene has long been defined by African-American music, with artists ranging from the legendary duo of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and Macalester College’s own Sounds of Blackness to Morris Day and the Time and chart-topping sensation Lizzo. And of course, Minnesota will forever be known as the land of Purple Rain and the home of the iconic Prince, who touched hearts, opened minds, and made millions of people around the world want to dance. This resolution is a fitting tribute to the significant contributions that African-American musicians have made and continue to make to the musical heritage and cultural fabric of our country,” said Sen. Klobuchar.
“For centuries, African Americans have defined our nation’s musical heritage,” said Sen. Menendez. “From the birth of blues and jazz, to Motown and R&B, African American artists have created some of the most popular music in U.S. history. And for far too long, African Americans have seen their musical genius appropriated without recognition. I’m proud to sponsor this resolution with Senator Booker so that African Americans finally get the recognition they deserve for their achievements and contributions to our nation’s music.”
The resolution was cosponsored by Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Jon Ossoff (D-GA).
Full text of the resolution can be found here.