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Honoring Black American Music Month

Honoring Black American Music Month

Ashley Gipson

Happy feelings in the air. Touching people everywhere…And we begin to rock steady. Steady rockin all day long. And we begin to rock steady. I bet you sang both of these songs and began dancing. At least I did!

There are so many songs that pop in my head for this month, this Black American Music Month. I feel like I’m at the cookout! Music is the love language of the soul and when I tell you it knows how to touch, believe me. But I’m sure you already know this. And it is so easy and great to honor the great songs that we jam to but what made these songs possible is also worth esteeming. 

We can’t honor The Temptations and The Supremes and Gladys Knight and the Pips and Stevie Wonder without honoring Motown. We can’t honor organizations like Motown without embracing the washboards being turned into musical instruments. You see, it all connects together. Music tells stories and to honor Black American Music, we have to understand the depths of its story. We love to sing hymns in church but do we have a clear understanding of what it meant for our ancestors to sing Wade in the Water? Do we understand the cry behind every riff of a guitar? These songs we cherish today are only cherished because of the value, because of the essence of the movement that is shared. These songs made us dance, made us sing, made us cry, made us think. It’s not just art, it’s life! 

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Every song that we honor today had a share in sculpting our lives. It holds a special place in your heart. It made the heartbreak more tangible. It reminds you of grandma’s house. It brought you together. It shifted the economy of the world and individuals. It shifted perspectives of how we saw other people. Black American Music shifts lives. Think about it! How did it shift you?

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