Rolling Out

Why we need to celebrate Black music

Artists make it plain

June is Black Music Month, and on June 19 on Bounce TV, the 2024 Black Music Honors will air.

Rolling out spoke to many honorees and attendees about celebrating the art form.

Why do we need to celebrate Black music?

Vanessa Fraction, comedian: It’s the foundation of all music.

I believe we’re the culture, we’re what makes the needle move one way or another. We think well, whether we’re in joy or pain. Music is the cornerstone of it all, and it should be honored. We should understand the people behind it, not just the singers but the writers, [producers], and musicians.

Johnny Gill, singer-songwriter: It is important to the culture to have an identity. This is important to know. I don’t care who you are, when you are on this planet, you have to create an identity. The identity is really about [Black] music for us, which is important for our culture to learn and understand who paved the way [and have] allowed us to be able to relate to the stuff that we go through in our community, which is so important.

Ricky Dillard, gospel artist: Those who make it [need to be] encouraged.

They need to be inspired, uplifted, and [assured that] their work on everything they’ve been given is not in vain.

It [always blesses] somebody. You don’t know who it’s going to bless. So tonight, we’re going to celebrate, make sure they keep going, and make it a great blessing.

Chrisette Michelle, singer: It’s who we are.

We’ve been creating songs since way back. It’s gotten us through a lot.

It’s been our calling card; it’s been [what we] leave from this generation to the next, so music is what leads us. We have to celebrate.

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