June is officially Black Music Appreciation Month, a designation created by President Jimmy Carter in 1979. Last month, President Joe Biden issued a presidential proclamation acknowledging this year’s recognition of Black music. “For generations, Black music has conveyed the hopes and struggles of a resilient people,” Biden’s proclamation said, highlighting “spirituals mourning the original sin of slavery and later heralding freedom from bondage, hard truths told through jazz and the sounds of Motown during the Civil Rights movement, and hip-hop and rhythm and blues that remind us of the work that still lies ahead.” As the president’s remarks note, Black music has served a variety of artistic, social and political purposes throughout the country’s history.