Black History Month, like many nationally recognized observances, is a continuous representation of American history. In 1926, the second week of February (in relation to Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th, and Frederick Douglas’s birthday on February 14th) was chosen to recognize the importance of contributions made by Black Americans to the country. Black historian Carter G. Woodson was looking for a way Black history could be taught and celebrated across the country, a way that specifically dispelled myths about how Black enslaved peoples were treated before and after the Civil War.
Initially, Negro History Week was only adopted by a handful of school administrations and state departments of education, including those in Baltimore and Washington, D.C. The event continued to grow throughout the country in the following decades, with the help of Black churches and press spreading the word.
By 1969, Black educators and students at Kent University, in Kent, Ohio, had organized a month long celebration for Black history. By 1976 -- the United States Bicentennial -- former President Gerald Ford had officially recognized the month of February as Black History Month. Black history is American history, and we’ll be sharing but a slice of the musical history from Black artists this month.
This month we spotlight Black music icons that have paved the way for up and coming Black indie artists. We hope to encourage our listeners to dive into the rich history and culture of these musicians, learn about their musicality, study their lyrics, and understand how they have shaped the music industry throughout history. Some you may know like Aretha Franklin, Tracy Chapman, and Fugees. these heavy hitters have influenced music for the generations to follow, like our all Black Local 303 lineup. All month long we'll be spinning the hits of these influential musicians on the air. Also tune in for our nightly shows like Serve It!, Especial, More From the Local 303 to continue to discover more Black musicians. We have also prepared a streamable 50 song Spotify playlist with even more Black artists.
There are so many events celebrating Black History Month. Check out this calendar for ways to celebrate Black History Month in Denver put together by our friends at Denverite.
Tune in to Indie 102.3. Stream on your smart speaker and on the new Colorado Public Radio app.
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