Black Music Is A Movement, Not a Moment
As we kick off June and celebrate both Black Music Month and Juneteenth, we take this moment to reflect on and share the Black experience through sound.
It’s been said that where words fail, music speaks. With that logic, the argument can be made that music is a language. And through that lens, we can understand that most Black folks are bilingual because we speak music fluently. Through music we’ve found our fight, our freedom and our future, providing the whole world with a front row seat to view our collective humanity.
As we kick off June and celebrate both Black Music Month and Juneteenth, we take this moment to reflect on and share the Black experience through sound. YouTube wouldn’t be YouTube without Black music! Every day we amplify the excellence of Black artistry through music but in this wonderful month of June, we’d like to take a second to salute!
Here are some ways we are celebrating Black Music in June:
YouTube Music Programmed Playlists
Starting today, we’re launching a four-part weekly programmed playlists series that doubles as our romantic poem to Black Music. It goes a little something like this…
- Black Music is The Source: Presents 21st century breakthroughs in pop culture via trendsetting moments that Black music genres like Hip Hop and R&B garnered.
- Black Music is The Sun: Highlights soulful summer songs that grace cookouts across America. Get your grills ready for this one.
- Black Music Is Live: Digs deep into YouTube’s rich catalog of legendary live music performances. Real-life vibes immortalized in sound.
- Black Music is Love: Single-handedly taps into that tender, warm, intimate way Black Music expresses love in multiple ways.
In addition, we’ll launch Celebrate Juneteenth, a playlist commemorating the national holiday. You can find “Black Music Is…” playlist series, along with a collection of others celebrating Black Music Month and Juneteenth on YouTube Music and youtube.com/music.
#YouTubeBlack Music Future Insiders Scholarship
Also starting today, we’re proud to announce a second year partnership with 1500 Sound Academy. We’ll again offer 10 full ride scholarships as part of #YouTubeBlack Music Future Insiders Scholarship program for aspiring students to participate in 1500 Sound Academy’s Music & Industry Fundamentals Live Online Program, offering courses in music production, engineering, songwriting, mixing, music business and more. Enrollment begins today through June 24 and applicants can apply here.
Roots Picnic Livestream
On June 4, YouTube will serve as the exclusive livestream partner for the iconic Roots Picnic music festival, sponsored by Garnier Fructis. On Saturday, the festival will be live-streamed on the group’s Official YouTube Channel where you’ll be able to catch performances from Jazmine Sullivan, Mary J. Blige, serpentwithfeet, The Roots, and many more. Fans can now set their reminders here and tune in to The Roots’ channel to revisit some amazing content and performances from the 2020 virtual Roots Picnic.
That’s where we’re at, but I’d also like to share where we’re headed and what you can expect from YouTube in the near future:
#YouTubeBlack Voices Fund
Since launching the #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund in October of 2020, we’ve selected over 300 grantees, from across the globe, providing dedicated partner support from YouTube, seed funding invested into the development of their channels, and bespoke training, workshops and networking programs. In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more about the future of the program and how Creators, artists, singers and songwriters/producers can get involved.
In the coming months, we’ll be introducing a new external program called YouTube Avenues, built to demystify YouTube in underrepresented cultural hubs across the U.S. Developed to make YouTube more accessible and equitable, the program will be led by YouTube subject matter experts and local cultural thought leaders to provide participants with key insights on how to start and grow their careers on the platform.
Black Music continues to drive culture, and as a result drives YouTube — where culture lives. The impact of the contributions of Black Music can be seen across our global charts, live streams and wide-ranging playlists. We see it in the internet’s most viral moments. Black culture is ubiquitous. And for that, we salute. This is not a moment; it’s a movement.
Celebrate Black music today and every day!