BIPOC Contributions to American Music

Recommendations for Self-Education and Charitable Giving

The Black community’s contributions to music are inextricable from and invaluable to every genre of modern music. Through my work as a musician, it is my personal doctrine to never forget these contributions or how Black history is synonymous with history of American music—from the early dawn of rock ‘n roll to Prince inventing the use of tuning the Linn Kick drum to the key of his synth pop songs.

With this in mind, below is a list of recommended listening, reading, and charitable giving for music fans and musicians alike. It is certainly a non-exhaustive list and I’d encourage you to engage in more self-education.

(Photo from CBS’ “Legends of Motown.”)


Listen to the 1619 Project’s podcast episode “The Birth of American Music”

“Black music, forged in captivity, became the sound of complete artistic freedom. It also became the sound of America.” -The New York Times


Read “Roots: The Impact of Black Music on America and the World”

“Long before Rap and Hip-hop dominated the music culture, Black Music had a profound influence on the culture of the United States and the world. From the turn of the 20th century to modern times, African American music has been the heartbeat of America and emulated around the world.” -Richard Lawson Singley


Consider donating to organizations supporting and fostering Black music & creativity

I choose to donate to the NANM because of the breadth of their work and long-standing history in supporting Black music in all forms. “The National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc. (NANM) is this country’s oldest organization dedicated to the preservation, encouragement, and advocacy of all genres of the music of Black Americans.” -NANM