“In celebrating Black History month, we can take satisfaction from this recent progress in the realization of ideals envisioned by our Founding Fathers,” the then U.S. government, President Gerald Ford said during a speech 1976. “But, even more than this, we can seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.”
Black History Month has been celebrated annually in the U.S., Canada in February, and the United Kingdom in October and the Netherlands, where it’s also known as Black Achievement Month. The celebration began as a way to remember the important people and events in the history of the African diaspora, but too often I hear that people are wondering why Black History Month even exists? (more…)
Louis Armstrong, who was also known as Satchmo or Pops, was an American jazz trumpeter and singer from New Orleans, Louisiana. He is a musician and composer of jazz music, and is known as one of the founding fathers of jazz.
Armstrong was a foundational influence in jazz, shifting the focus of the music from collective improvisation to solo performance. He has an instantly recognizable gravelly voice which allowed him to bend the lyrics and melody of a song for expressive purposes. He was skilled at scat singing and a charismatic stage presence that let audiences fall in love with his music.
Although Armstrong was a popular entertainer during a time in America that was severely racially divided, he rarely publicly politicized his race. However, he took a well-publicized stand for desegregation during the Little Rock Crisis. His artistry and personality allowed him socially acceptable access to the upper echelons of American society that were highly restricted for a black man.