2016 marks the first day of the 40th year that we highlight the history and countless number of African-American achievements that have helped to make our nation what it is today through the observance of Black History Month. I have been going through a lot of songs and videos that may give us food for thought, inspire us and reflect what this month should ideally be about…obtaining knowledge of self and remembering that Black History is World History… It’s also something that occurs everyday, not just limited to the Month of February…
Remember when historian/ scholar Carter G Woodson established the second week in February Negro History Week in 1926, it was done with the intent of acknowledging the birthday of Fredrick Douglass and providing us with a vehicle to push for Black History to be a foundation to American History…
Negro History Week grew over the years and in 1969 Black students at kent State expanded the week long celebration to a Black History month.. Several years later in 1976, President Gerald Ford acknowledged Black History Month..
Over the years lots of artists have stepped to the plate and delivered timeless songs that uplifted our history… I gathered a few for us to peep and reflect on.. Some of this is a mixture of the past and present.. enjoy..
You Must Learn by KRS-One
This is one of my favorites… it was dropped by KRS during what many considered the Golden Era of Hip Hop.. There were two different versions of this song. One used the break beat Supersporm by Captain Sky, the other depicted in this video uses the popular break ‘Get Up and Dance‘ from Farther Than Imagination
Acknowledge Your History by the Jungle Brothers
This was always a favorite from the Jungle Brothers.. It’s off the album Forces of Nature.. I wish they had done a video because the song is dope.. Also coming out of Hip Hop’s Golden Era..
We Wear the Crown by Gary Byrd & Stevie Wonder
Byrd when he released this song, teams up with Stevie Wonder in 1983 and does a stellar Black History song.. The pairing represented a break in ‘elders supporting rap/Hip Hop when so many at that time were highly critical and against it.. They saw Hip Hop as an embarassing throwback.. Byrd and Wonder saw things a bit differently..They saw the potential ion Hip Hop and wanted to help lead the way…
Freedom Rap by Queen Latifah, Yo-Yo, Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes (of TLC), MC Lyte, Patra, Nefertiti, Da 5 Footaz Salt-N-Pepa, Meshell Ndegeocello
Many people have overlooked or don’t even know this about this song. It was done for a hard to find sound track for 1995 movie Panther..That album had a quite a few songs, but this was a standout in terms of the allstar cast of female emcees and singers who were at the top of the field going for it.. This song will forever be a treasure
Proud to Be Black & Black History Rap by Run DMC
I’m going back to back with Run DMC.. This song is off the landmark album Raising Hell and it speaks for itself.. damn near every song off that album was a banger especially at that time.. and this song hit the mark..Rap was still making its way into the mainstream and it was good to see Run DMC do this song in prominent spaces.. during the mid 80s…
The second song, Black History is a rare and hard to find song that was given away for FREE back in like 1984 and proceeds the Raising Hell lp…The Black Cultural Workshop (BCW) put the actual video together for the song
The Truth About Race by Labtekwon
This song is a more recent offering from a prolific Baltimore based emcee who is no joke as a lyricist, scholar and artist..His 18th or 19th full length album and 35th recording overall is called Hardcore: Labtekwon and The Righteous Indignation- Rootzilla vs Masta Akbar. Here you’ll find a number of songs that can easily fit within this collection of songs to check for around Black History..