Black History Month Concerts

 Black History Month Concerts

In 1976, during the presidency of Gerald Ford, America officially designated the month of February as "Black History Month." The practice of celebrating the achievements of African-Americans in February has been a part of almost every presidential administration since then. The idea of such celebrations goes back to earlier efforts to bring attention to the achievements of Black Americans, especially efforts by the historian Carter Woodson, who co-founded the Association for Negro Life and History in 1915. 

During the 2021 Black History Month, the Hayes School of Music and the Department of English will be offering three virtual concerts on the last three Sundays of the month. Members of the music faculty will perform works ranging from 1890s ragtime to twenty-first century electronic music of the midwest and members of the English department will be performing readings from the Harlem Renaissance and the Black Arts Movement, to contemporary voices. We invite you to listen to this remarkable collection of music and poetry this month of February and encourage you to cultivate your own, informed, curious, and enlivened connection with the composers, poets, and their respective traditions. We hope that you will find musical and poetic gems that you can enjoy for years to come! Together, let's redefine what we mean when we say "classical" music.

HSoM Live Streams Link

Concert dates:
Sunday, February 14, 2021, 4:00 pm EST; Program; Composer and poet biographies
Sunday, February 21, 2021, 4:00 pm EST; Program; Composer and poet biographies
Sunday, February 28, 2021, 4:00 pm EST; Program; Composer and poet biographies; 3:40pm Interview with Dr. Willie C. Fleming, Chief Diversity Officer



  • H. Leslie Adams (b. 1932)
  • Edward Bland (1926-2013)
  • Margaret Bonds (1913-1972)
  • Valerie Coleman (b. 1970)
  • Nathaniel Dett (1882-1943)
  • Adolphus Hailstork (b. 1941)
  • Billie Holiday (1915-1959)/Arthur Herzog Jr. (1900-1983)
  • Thad Jones (1923-1986)
  • Scott Joplin (c. 1868-1917)
  • Betty Jackson King (1928-1994)
  • Jelly Roll Morton (1890-1941)
  • William Grant Still (1895-1978)
  • Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967)
  • Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson (1932-2004)
  • Florence Price (1887-1953)
  • Evan Williams (b. 1988)
  • Mary Lou Williams (1910-1981)


  • Maya Angelou (1928-2014)
  • Amiri Baraka (1934-2014)
  • Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000)
  • Rita Dove (b. 1952)
  • Tiffany Green (App State student)
  • Michael S. Harper (1938-1993)
  • Robert Hayden (1913-1980)
  • Langston Hughes (1902-1967)
  • Ross Gay (b. 1974)
  • Yusef Iman (1933-1987)
  • Ted Joans (1928-2003)
  • Haki Madhubuti (b. 1948)
  • Claude McKay (1889-1948)
  • Lloyd Oppong (App State student)
  • Luis Palés Matos (1898-1959)
  • Julian Randall (b. 1994)
  •  Ishmael Reed (b. 1938)
  • Sonia Sanchez (b. 1934)