A great site, Black Children’s Books and Authors, celebrates African American Music Appreciation during the month of June with 19 books covering aspects of black music and its powerful cultural impact.

Kenny Gamble and Dyana Williams are heralded as the “father and mother of African American Music Appreciation Month, formerly Black Music Month. Some historical background:

On June 7, 1979, President Jimmy Carter hosted the first Black music celebration at the White House “to formally recognize the cultural and financial contributions of [B]lack music.” However, Carter failed to sign a presidential proclamation naming June as Black Music Month. It wasn’t until 2000 during Bill Clinton’s presidency that the African American Music Bill was introduced and passed.

In 2009, President Obama changed the name of the celebration to African American Music Appreciation Month. On the importance of the celebration, Williams believes “we should revel in fact that this is something that is uniquely ours. It’s a great contribution to the world.” The books selected are fiction and nonfiction for elementary age children to adults. They highlight various aspects of African American music such as history, genres, and musical pioneers.

These informative and educational books are enjoyed by both children and adults:

I See the Rhythm by Michele Wood and Toyomi Igus

I See the Rhythm of Gospel by Michele Wood and Toyomi Igus

Acoustic Rooster and His Barnyard Band by Kwame Alexander

When Grandmother Sings by Margaree King Mitchell

How Sweet the Sound: African American Songs for Children by Wade Hudson

In the Hollow of Your Hand by Alice McGill

Just a Lucky So and So: The Story of Louis Armstrong by Lesa Cline-Ransome

The Piano Man by Debi Chocolate

Jazz on a Saturday Night by Leo and Diane Dillon

Blues Journey by Walter Dean Myers

All Night, All Day by Ashley Bryan

Blues Singers: Ten Who Rocked the World by Julius Lester

Jazz ABZ: An A to Z Collection of Jazz Portraits by Wynton Marsalis

Hip Hop Speaks to Children by Nikki Giovanni

Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound by Andrea Davis Pinkney

First Book of Jazz by Langston Hughes

One Nation Under a Groove by James Haskins

The Holy Profane: Religion in Black Popular Music by Theresa L. Reed

Soul Train: The Music, Dance, and Style of a Generation by Quest Love

Celebrate the many forms of African American music with these great books!

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