Songs for Black History Month

The legendary Nina Simone once said: “How can you be an artist and not reflect the times? That to me is the definition of an artist.” 

As a musician and artist myself, that idea has always resonated with me. I’m constantly drawn to music that aims to be a conduit of truth. 

With February being Black History Month here in the United States, I’ve been listening to quite a bit of music by Black artists who are telling their truth through song. And I thought I would curate a small playlist featuring some of my favorites.

I’ve done my best to curate a collection that represents different genres, generations, and perspectives. You’ll hear everything from Reggae to Folk; Hip Hop to Gospel; Funk to Country, and more. Some of these songs are lamentful as they confront the hard truths of our violent and racist history (and current times). Others are sassy, fun, and celebratory—a powerful illustration of Black joy. And all of them are revolutionary as they imagine and hope for a better, more inclusive world.  

Give it a listen and feel free to let me know what you think! 

Photo of Jon Batiste; photographed by Jonny Marlow


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