June is nationally recognized as Black Music month. We celebrate our culture of people Black people have left there our footprints in every genre of music known to man. The ‘Mother of Black Music’ was recently interviewed by Ebony where she talked about the history of Black Music Month and how her contributions to Black Music is far from over.
Dyana Williams is the president and founder of the International Association of African-American Music Foundation. Organization that holds conferences and educational symposiums and executes panels that articulate the immensity of Black music.
“The creation of Black Music Month was the brainchild of Grammy Award winning songwriter/producer and one of the architects of The Sound of Philadelphia (TSOP) Kenny Gamble,” Williams told Ebony. On June 7, 1979 President Jimmy Carter hosted the reception at the White House that made Black Music Month official. Williams, who was in attendance during the ceremony called it “a coming together of various aspects of the music industry to celebrate and recognize this multibillion-dollar industry, not just the songwriters and the singers, people behind the scenes as well.”
Dyana Williams started from humble beginnings, accrediting Radio pioneer Vy Higginsen as her muse, inspiring her to pursue a career in radio. “Vy Higginsen was on the radio at WBLS and she’s the first Black woman that I listened to that inspired me to want to be on the radio,” Williams said.
She has since put down radio full time and now spends majority, if not all, of her time advocating for the advancement of Black Music. A duty that she feels is a lifetime commitment.
“Black Music is American music created in this country and exported culturally, but also economically. We don’t tend to think of it that way, but the reality is that Black music is big business. I’m talking about not millions of dollars, but billions of dollars.” Williams articulated. We are the trendsetters. We are the weathervane so to speak. We’re the taste. We’re the flavor all over the planet. It is us and I see myself as a person who uses her platform, whether it’s social media, whether it is talking with [journalists] to spread the word about the magnificence, the viability, and the power of Black music.”
Dyana Williams Talks ‘Black Music Month’ with Ebony was originally published on rnbphilly.com
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