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Obama: African-American Music Appreciation Month set for June 2016

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Luong Thai Linh/Getty Images

The beginning of Barack Obama’s final summer in office will ring a celebratory note. The president declared on Tuesday that June 2016 would be African-American Music Appreciation Month.

“A vital part of our Nation’s proud heritage, African-American music exemplifies the creative spirit at the heart of American identity and is among the most innovative and powerful art the world has ever known,” Obama said in a statement. “It accompanies us in our daily lives, and it has rung out at turning points in our history and demonstrated how our achievements as a culture go hand-in-hand with our progress as a Nation.”

Obama has had his finger on the music pulse in recent months. In January, he welcomed Kendrick Lamar into the White House to discuss “topics concerning the inner cities” and about “embracing the youth.” Nicki Minaj, Chance the Rapper, Alicia Keys, and more visited in April to talk about criminal justice reform.

President Jimmy Carter established Black Music Appreciation Month in 1979, but in Obama’s first term, he changed the scope to African-American music.

Read Obama’s full declaration here.

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