by Gus Jones, Fiction Department, Central Library
June is African-American Music Appreciation Month. It started in 1979 when President Jimmy Carter decreed that June would be Black Music Month and it has been celebrated each year since. It was renamed to African-American Music Appreciation Month in a proclamation by President Barack Obama in 2009. The best way to “appreciate” African-American music, of course, is to listen to it. The library has a great collection of music CDs by a number of different artists. In addition, you can use our Hoopla database to borrow albums online for a period of seven days. Furthermore, you can download songs to keep (limit of 3 per week) using our Freegal Music database. If you would like to learn more about the history of African-American music, you may be interested in checking out one of the following titles. The descriptions are from the publishers.
The Story of African-American Music by Andrew Pina
The influence of African Americans on music in the United States cannot be overstated. A large variety of musical genres owe their beginnings to black musicians. Jazz, rap, funk, R&B, and even techno have roots in African American culture. This volume chronicles the history of African American music, with spotlights on influential black musicians of the past and present. Historical and contemporary photographs, including primary sources, contribute to an in-depth look at this essential part of American musical history.
Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: The Apollo Theater and American Entertainment
Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment celebrates the seventy-five year history of the Apollo Theater, Harlem’s landmark performing arts space and the iconic showplace for the best in jazz, blues, dance, comedy, gospel, R & B, hip-hop, and more since it opened its doors in 1934. This beautifully illustrated book is the companion volume to an exhibition of the same name, organized by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in collaboration with the Apollo Theater Foundation. It offers a sweeping panorama of American cultural achievement from the Harlem Renaissance to the present through the compelling story of a single institution.
Gospel Music: An African American Art Form by Dr. Joan Rucker-Hillsman
Gospel Music: An African American Art Form provides music information on the heritage of gospel from its African roots, Negro spirituals, and traditional and contemporary gospel music trends. The mission and purpose of this book is to provide a framework of the study of gospel music. There are 8 detailed sections, appendices and resources on gospel music which include African Roots and Characteristics and history, Negro Spirituals, Black Congregational Singing, Gospel history and Movement, Gripping effects, Cross Over Artists, Youth in Gospel, and Gospel Music in the Academic Curriculum with lesson plans.
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