Sending Office: Honorable Gregory W. Meeks
Sent By:

Celebrate African American Contributions to Music and Call for Equality in Musical Education:

Recognizing the contributions of African Americans to America’s musical heritage, and the need for greater access to music education for African American students.

Original Cosponsors: Alcee Hastings, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Bennie G. Thompson, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Pramila Jayapal,
Frederica S. Wilson, Mia Love, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Bobby Rush, Sanford D. Bishop, Jr., Rep. Adam Schiff, Terri A Sewell, Shelia Jackson Lee, Hakeem Jeffries, Gwen Moore, William Lacy Clay, Barbara Lee, Yvette Clarke, Darren Soto, Andre
Carson, Steve Cohen, Elizabeth Esty, Jerrold Nadler, Lucille Roybal Allard, Adriano Espaillat, John Lewis

Supported by: American Orff-Schulwerk Association, American School Band Directors Association, American String Teachers Association, Barbershop Harmony Society, Chorus America, College Band Directors National Association, Conn-Selmer,
Drum Corps International, Education Through Music, El Sistema USA, Gordon Institute for Music Learning, Jazz at Lincoln Center, J. W. Pepper & Son, League of American Orchestras, Little Kids Rock, Music for All, Music Teachers National Association, National
Association for Music Education , National Association of Music Merchants, National Federation of State High School Associations, National Music Council, Organization of American Kodály Educators, Percussive Arts Society, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Progressive
Music, Quadrant Arts Education Research, Quaver’s Marvelous World of Music, The Recording Academy, Strathmore Hall Foundation, VH1 Save the Music Foundation, Winter Guard International, WURRLYedu

Dear Colleague:

Please join me in celebrating the many contributions of African Americans to our American musical heritage, and the need for greater access to a sequential and standards-based music education for African American students.

The contributions of African Americans are embedded in our music culture. The first Africans transported to this country came from a variety of ethnic groups with a long history of distinct and cultivated musical traditions.  Throughout music history, genres
of American music have seen the influence of African American musicians and culture.

The positive influence African Americans have had on our music is undeniable. Unfortunately, today, students of color, especially those in large urban communities, do not share the same access to a high-quality music and arts education as their white, suburban
counterparts.  A recent U.S. Department of Education study found that only 28 percent of African American students receive any kind of school-based arts education, and scored the lowest of all ethnicities in the most recent National Assessment for Educational
Progress (NAEP) Arts Assessment.  Furthermore, another study showed that only 15 percent of music ensemble students were African American.  The same study found that only seven percent of music teacher licensure candidates were
African American.

If you have any questions or would like to cosponsor this resolution (available here), please contact Vashti Hinton on my staff
at or x 5-3461. Thank you for your consideration and let’s continue our work to better provide a well-rounded education, which includes music, for all students everywhere.



Gregory W. Meeks


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