Last week, not only did rapper Jay Z (A.K.A. Shawn Carter) and wife-slash-superstar Beyoncé welcome the most anticipated babies of 2017, but he was also elected into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. His induction was presented by former President Barack Obama. Oh, and he announced the release of his first album since 2013, 4:44, due to be released June 30. The timing of Jay Z’s induction to the Songwriters Hall of Fame coincides with June being African-American Music Appreciation Month. First observed by President Jimmy Carter 1979 to honor the contributions Black artists have made to American culture and society at large, succeeding presidents followed in Carter’s footsteps, each declaring June African-American Music Appreciation Month. Last May, President Obama wrote:
“Let us recognize 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”.
We currently have a display of materials pertaining to African-American Music Appreciation Month located on the second floor landing, spanning from the earliest forms of African-American music to the current day, complete with a scavenger hunt for song lyrics.
For those more into biopics, check out these options:
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Check Hoopla to stream music and movies or check out a Roku device (must be a Niles cardholder)
Did you know The Blues Brothers was released on this day in 1980? The film features Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Cab Calloway, John Lee Hooker, and Ray Charles.