June is Black Music Month and has been, unofficially, since 1979, when Jimmy Carter threw a shindig at The Whitehouse and invited notable Black artists to perform. He said at the time,

“If we had had the Black Music Association organized 203 years ago, so that Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson and George Washington could have just heard some of this music at the very beginning, our country could’ve avoided a lot of trouble, a lot of heartache, and a lot of struggle, and a lot of suffering and a lot of division, and would be even greater than it is now.”

Dyana Williams/Envy McKee/Canva
Dyana Williams/Envy McKee/Canva

National Council of Teachers of English notes that,

While President Carter created Black Music Month, the first official presidential proclamation recognizing June as Black Music Month was not signed until 2000 by President Bill Clinton. This signing came after Dyana Williams, a renowned journalist and community activist, successfully lobbied for Black Music Month to be recognized by the US government.

Grit Before The Gram Returns For The 65th Annual Grammy Awards
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Williams is a Bronx Native and has had a legendary radio career on noteworthy stations in Washington DC, Philadelphia and her hometown of New York. Williams said in an interview with Bianca Gracie for Grammy.com that, 

"We (She and then partner Kenny Gamble) went to the White House for the first Black Music Month event on June 7th 1979. We sat with President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. But years later, I was producing a celebration[ for] Black Music Month [in June]. I wrote to Bill Clinton: "Can you hold some similar events?" The White House said, "Well, we see that President Carter hosted the Black Music Association. We know that you were his guests." But he unintentionally did not write a presidential proclamation, which would've meant that every president following him would have done similarly."

Recording Academy Philadelphia Chapter Event
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Black Music Month was made official, official by Congress and the Clinton administration in 2000. Williams says,

To be recognized by Congress and the American people is right, but I had been petitioning for several years. I had even written an op-ed, in Billboard, about why it was significant for us to celebrate it. So yeah, several years of me knocking on congressmen and senators’ doors. I knew nothing about the process of lobbying. So I became a natural lobbyist, just passionate about the music and the cause. And at that point, it was significant for me to get the president to acknowledge us. Not just because of the cultural dynamics, but the economic value and potency of our music. We don't tend to think of it in those terms, but the reality is Black music is big business.

Grit Before The Gram Awards - Inside
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You can learn more about the founding of Black Music Month here and here.

Jimmy Carter through the Years

James Earl Carter, Jr. was born in Plains, Georgia on October 1, 1924.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022. He served as the 39th President of the United States from 1977 to 1981. Former President Carter was also the Governor of Georgia and a state senator of his home state.

A graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Carter is also known as the first American president who was born in a hospital.

As a very young man he was enterprising, and started his own businesses early, helping to supplement his family's farm for many years.

His Vice President was Walter Mondale. One of President Carter's first duties in office was to issue Proclamation 4483 on January 21, 1977, pardoning all those who evaded the Vietnam era draft. During his Presidency, the Department of Energy and Department of Education were formed.

He has authored dozens of books. Among them are "Our Endangered Values," "Faith," "An Hour Before Daylight," and "A Full Life."

Since 1946 Jimmy Carter has been married to Eleanor Rosalynn Carter (known as Rosalynn Carter). They have four children: Amy Carter, Donnel Carter, Jack Carter, and James Carter.

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Look Inside Joe Biden's Former Syracuse Home

A lot has happened since the house last sold in 2005 for $68,000. Between the previous occupant becoming Vice-President and then the 46th President over the past 17 years, along with the current housing market, the property is now on the market at a substantial uptick of $334,900.

The house is at 608 and 610 Stinard Avenue, and was originally built in 1925. It’s a two-family duplex with 3,364 square feet of space, plus a two-car garage. The first unit is two bed/two bath. The second unit is roomier with four bedrooms and two baths. The house has lots of original wood paneling, which feels very presidential. Could sleeping here lead to a long and successful political career? It certainly couldn’t hurt.

Photo credit: Eric F Metz II, Independent Realty Group via Zillow.