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Music with a Message

Your new favorite playlist has 36 amazing tracks to celebrate Black Music Month

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Illustration of black women singing and playing instruments
Charlot Kristensen
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June is Black Music Month. “Sisters from AARP” celebrates African American music’s power to uplift, heal, ignite change and demand justice and equality for all. From singable soul and danceable funk, to energizing jazz and uplifting gospel, to expressive rap and reggae, Black music reflects a people’s joy and pain. We believe in the promise of Sam Cooke’s “A Change is Gonna Come,” and groove along with Curtis Mayfield and Stevie Wonder as we aspire to “Move on Up” and reach for “Higher Ground.” We have faith in the power of both prayer and resistance, voiced respectively by Deborah Cox in “I Won’t Complain” and Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.” And, as we observe the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising and also celebrate Pride Month in June, we take immense pride in the rich contribution the LGBTQ community has made to our music — from Sylvester's “You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real)” to RuPaul’s “Supermodel (You Better Work)” to Frank Ocean's “Superpower” and Meshell Ndegeocello’s “Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” Even though sisters may have had more than our share of “Inner City Blues” and “Black Girl Pain,” we still sparkle like a “Shining Star” and remain ever “Optimistic” for “Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me).” Grab your headphones and let these tracks surround you with the Sounds of Blackness.