This article is not sponsored. This article intends to help educate readers on Black History and African American History. I, the author of this article, am a non-Black P.O.C. (person of color) who hopes to educate others while educating myself about an aspect of history that I do not know nor do I claim to know.
Today is the 35th year that America recognizes Martin Luther King Jr. Day. One way in which we can educate ourselves on Black History and African American History is with the National Museum of African American Music, (1, 2). The National Museum of African American history is in Nashville, TN – yes, the world-renown Music City! They’re currently closed due to COVID, but they’re opening their doors to small crowds towards the end of the month.
The National Museum of African American Music cut their opening bow just this morning, after being a twenty-two-year-long project, (4). The National Museum of African American Music’s primary mission is “to educate the world, preserve the legacy, and celebrate the central role of African Americans play in creating the American soundtrack," (3). Their vision is to be “the premier global destination for music lovers of all generations and inspires, educates, and transforms your appreciation of American music, (3).
The museum honors and celebrates African Americans’ contributions to quite literally every. genre. of. music. From Hip-Hop with Missi Elliot to Soul with Marvin Gaye and Jazz with Ella Fitzgerald, the museum honors artists who have influenced today’s top artists!
The beauty of this museum is how music connects everybody. R&B artist, H.E.R., contributed to the planning of this museum. She says, “Black music always represents Culture and what’s happening...Music is the place where you go to understand better understand [culture and the racial tension of the time]. Music is a language everybody speaks,”(4).
This museum honors the African American artists who have not received adequate recognition for their significant influence on artists today, even in the predominantly-white genres that don’t credit their African American roots.
National Museum of African American Music. (2021). https://nmaam.org/.
National Museum of African American Music. (2021). "History." https://nmaam.org/history/.
National Museum of African American Music. "Mission and Vision." (18 January 2021.) https://nmaam.org/mission-vision/.
CBS This Morning. (18 January 2021.) “First look inside new museum that celebrates impact and influence of African Americans on music.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-o7DZNSx54