Just about every genre of music has, in some way, been touched and influenced by African-Americans.

That’s why in 1979, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the month of June as Black Music Month.


The month-long observance, which was first inducted on June 7, 1979, was created to recognize and celebrate the historical influence African-Americans have had on the music industry and is intended to pay homage to the many artists, writers, songs and albums that have shaped American pop culture and the inspiring musical moments that have brought citizens—white, black and every other skin color—together.


The idea was initially sparked following President Richard Nixon’s declaration of October as Country Music Month back in 1972. Although Black Music Month was effective in driving sales of music created by African-Americans—the month-long celebration was first launched with the slogan, "Black Music is Green"— the charge of artists (including Berry) and music mavens that petitioned Carter to proclaim the holiday celebrating black music brought forth an uplifting and unifying moment for people from all backgrounds.


Despite Carter’s proclamation, an official presidential order announcing Black Music Month during the month of June wasn’t signed off on until 2000 when the House of Representatives approved House Resolution 509, a decree that officially recognized the importance, study and celebration of African-American music.


Over the years, American presidents have continued the tradition of honoring Black Music Month, including Barack Obama, who officially changed the month-long holiday’s name to African-American Music Appreciation Month in 2009.