WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) reintroduced a resolution honoring the contributions of African Americans to America’s musical heritage. The resolution also calls for greater access to music education for African American students, who received the lowest scores of all ethnicities on the most recent National Assessment for Educational Progress arts assessment. Another recent Department of Education study found that only seven percent of music teacher licensure candidates were African American.
An excerpt from the resolution follows:
“The Senate recognizes the contributions of African Americans to the musical heritage of the United States; the wide array of talented and popular African-American musical artists, composers, song-writers, and musicians who are underrecognized for contributions to music; the achievements, talent, and hard work of African-American pioneer artists, and the obstacles that those artists overcame to gain recognition; the need for African-American students to have greater access to and participation in music education in schools across the United States; and Black History Month and African-American Music Appreciation Month as an important time to celebrate the impact of the African- American musical heritage on the musical heritage of the United States; and to encourage greater access to music education so that the next generation may continue to greatly contribute to the musical heritage of the United States and designates June 2021 as ‘African-American Music Appreciation Month’.”
The resolution is also co-sponsored in the Senate by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
The resolution is supported by the following organizations that are advocating for increased access to music education in our nation’s schools: American School Band Directors Association (ASBDA), American Composers Forum, American Orff-Schulwerk Association (AOSA), American String Teachers Association (ASTA), Barbershop Harmony Society, Chorus America Association, CMA Foundation, College Band Directors National Association, Conn-Selmer, Inc., Education Through Music, Inc., El Sistema USA, Gordon Institute for Music Learning, J.W. Pepper & Son, Inc., Jazz at Lincoln Center, League of American Orchestras, Little Kids Rock, Metropolitan Opera Guild, Inc., Music and the Brain, Music for AllMusic Teachers National Association (MTNA), Music Together Worldwide, Music Travel Consultants, Musicians Toolkit, NAMM Foundation, National Concerts LLC, National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS), National Music Council, Organization of American Kodály Educators (OAKE), Percussive Arts Society (PAS), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America, Progressive Music, Quadrant Arts Education Research, Quaver Music, Rock and Roll Forever Foundation, The Recording Academy, Save The Music Foundation, Strathmore, Winter Guard International (WGI), Wurrly LLC, ArtPride New Jersey, and Arts Ed New Jersey.
Full text of the resolution can be viewed here.