Today is the fifth 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.
Yesterday was the 35th anniversary of the release of one of the best pop albums of the 80s, Janet Jackson‘s Control, a brash, self-assured declaration of independence — and a defiant feminist anthem. Thematically and lyrically, Rhythm Nation 1814 is still relevant and necessary 25+ years since its release. Plus, she released an incredible string of chart-topping pop songs.