Today is the eighth day of Black History Month. And if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few days of this month, you’d see that I’ve been featuring Black artists across a wide and eclectic array of genres and styles that I think can guide you towards understanding the Black experience.
Through the month — and throughout the year, I hope that you’ll come to understand and appreciate the following:
- Black culture is American culture
- Black music is American music.
- Black history is American history.
- America’s greatest and beloved contributions to the world are Black music styles — the blues, jazz, rock ‘n’ roll and hip-hop.
- Black art matters.
- You can’t love black art and black artists without loving black people.
- Black lives matter — all of them, all of the time.
Arguably one of the most expressive and haunting voices ever recorded, Billie Holiday‘s vocals could express yearning, longing, heartbreak and despair within the turn of a single phase. Of course, it shouldn’t be surprising that most of her life was filled with tragedy and heartbreak — with the result being her tragic death at 44.