Monday, June 27, 2022 "As Black Music Appreciation Month comes to a close, it’s fitting to spend this last #BlackMusicSunday in June exploring it"

attribution: Pete Souza / The White House via Getty Images 

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Black music, its history, its composers, and its musicians cross almost every musical genre and are lauded and played across the globe by people of all races, ethnicities, and nationalities. There’s no wonder why it has often been part and parcel of the political life of this nation and welcomed into the hallowed halls of the White House.

As Black Music Appreciation Month comes to a close, it’s fitting to spend this last #BlackMusicSunday in June exploring it. Let’s dive into its genesis and the historical connection between U.S. presidents and the music that is one of America’s greatest offerings to the globe. President Jimmy Carter first designated June as Black Music Month in 1979, and it’s been proclaimed by the White House each year since then. Though the name has shifted over the years, the subject has remained the same.

According to music historians and those who have documented White House history, the first known appearance of a Black person to perform there was a young, blind, enslaved child who was known as “Blind Tom,” and whose name has been recorded as Thomas Greene, Thomas Wiggins, and Thomas Bethune. Born in 1849, Thomas performed at the White House in 1859.

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