President Obama declares June as African-American Music Appreciation Month

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Back in 1979, then US president Jimmy Carter decided June would be Black Music Month.

Now, in an official proclamation, President Barack Obama has decided it should instead be called African-American Music Appreciation Month and celebrated properly.

Mr Obama is well known for his love of hip hop, naming a Kendrick Lamar song as his favourite of 2015 and inviting a number of artists into the White House during his eight years as president.

He's also a lover of Aretha Franklin, who sang at his inauguration, as well as Stevie Wonder, Nina Simone, John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Billy Holiday. Take a look at his Spotify playlists for a lesson in great music past and present.

Mr Obama wrote: "Songs by African-American musicians span the breadth of the human experience and resonate in every corner of our nation - animating our bodies, stimulating our imaginations, and nourishing our souls.

"These artists speak to universal human emotion and the restlessness that stirs within us all. African-American music helps us imagine a better world, and it offers hope that we will get there together."

Read the full proclamation below:

A vital part of our Nation's proud heritage, African-American music exemplifies the creative spirit at the heart of American identity and is among the most innovative and powerful art the world has ever known. It accompanies us in our daily lives, and it has rung out at turning points in our history and demonstrated how our achievements as a culture go hand-in-hand with our progress as a Nation. During African-American Music Appreciation Month, we honor the artists who, through this music, bring us together, show us a true reflection of ourselves, and inspire us to reach for the harmony that lies beyond our toughest struggles.

Songs by African-American musicians span the breadth of the human experience and resonate in every corner of our Nation -- animating our bodies, stimulating our imaginations, and nourishing our souls. In the ways they transform real stories about real people into art, these artists speak to universal human emotion and the restlessness that stirs within us all. African-American music helps us imagine a better world, and it offers hope that we will get there together.

This month, we celebrate the music that reminds us that our growth as a Nation and as people is reflected in our capacity to create great works of art. Let us recognize the performers behind this incredible music, which has compelled us to stand up -- to dance, to express our faith through song, to march against injustice, and to defend our country's enduring promise of freedom and opportunity for all.

Aretha Franklin sings before President Barack Obama speaks during the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington
(Charles Dharapak/AP)

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2016 as African-American Music Appreciation Month. I call upon public officials, educators, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate activities and programs that raise awareness and foster appreciation of music that is composed, arranged, or performed by African Americans.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth.

BARACK OBAMA