NWA celebrates Black Music Appreciation Month


Recognizing the musical contributions of African Americans

NORTHWEST ARKANSAS, (KNWA/KFTA) — Local artists coming together to celebrate Black Music Appreciation Month with a month-long concert series.

The month of June was designated as Black Music Appreciation month back in 1979 by then-President Jimmy Carter. Since then, it’s become a tradition for folks to take that time to honor the contributions of black artists.

Several bands rehearsed at the George Majestic Lounge and will be featured this month. Anthony Ball, one of the event organizers, is the man behind the drums. He is well known for playing and directing Funk Factory in NWA. 

He is also an activist and the Artistic Director of Music Moves, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and connect young people and the community to African American music.

“We are doing that through performances like we are doing today and we also have a curriculum and we go into the high schools and we teach everything from the older to the new more modern music like the Cardi B, Jay-Z and Beyonce,” said Ball.

Music is a powerful tool and can be used to bring people together especially during tough times.

“I think this is a great time for us to come together even more so..more than we ever have and have tough conversations. and I think that music is one of those things that soften the blow when you’re having these tough conversation.”

He’s deeply moved by seeing soo many people unite in the name of justice in recent weeks of marches, rallies and protests nationwide.

Ball was also one of the panelists to join a conversation about race for a KNWA/FOX 24’s ‘Voice of Courage’ a special digital town hall.

From jazz, blues, reggae, gospel, hip hop and rap, Ball said black people have had and continue to have a huge influence on music and he wants to continue to highlight their work.

 Every weekend includes a freestyle Friday session, a tribute to the legends Saturdays and Sunday gospel services. 

To keep everyone safe during the pandemic all of the performances will be live-streamed on Music Moves’ Facebook page.

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