Black Music Month Still Matters
Young musicians' education is priceless
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2009 2:29 PM CDT
American jazz musician and composer Miles Davis (1926 - 1991) playing the trumpet.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Black Music Month, also known as June, used to celebrate visionaries like Duke Ellington and Billie Holliday. “In an age in which Auto-Tune and ringtone hits dominate, should we even be celebrating Black Music Month?” asks Erin Evans in The Root. “The answer, of course, is yes.” Evans argues that the month is more important than ever, even though “much of the new school deserves a failing grade.”

During 1979’s inaugural Black Music Month, “most mainstream black music was still really music.” Nowadays, “a vital connection to the old school has been lost.” But the month can be more than “a top 100 countdown of the all-time greatest hip-hop songs”—it’s a chance to expand “young people’s sense and understanding of black music,” to “nourish young talents who will shape the nature and scope of black music going forward.”