An illustration of the late Aretha Franklin with a purple background and vinyl record behind with the text Black History (a playlist) in the upper left.

Black History (A Playlist)

By Conner Yarbrough
Music Director

With the end of February signaling the end of Black History Month, various KTSW teams have collaborated to put together Black History (a playlist) featuring black artists across all genres from throughout the decades.

This playlist, however, is more than just another set of songs to set a mood. It is, at its heart, a celebration of the often-overlooked influence that black artists have on every aspect of culture. From jazz to soul to disco to R&B to electronic to country and back again, black artists continue to set the standards inside an industry that loves to use them as commodities to reinforce racist stereotypes.

In creating this playlist, we want to actively combat those evils and remind everyone (and I mean everyone) of the importance of diverse representation in media. Black musicians, artists, media professionals, personalities and actors are all human and deserve the acclaim predominantly held by their white counterparts.

This playlist is a reminder that the celebration of black history should not be limited to one month of the year — though that month is important to remind those in positions of power that American and world history is more than the Euro-centric narrative told by most history books.

This playlist is a thank you to black artists everywhere for continuing to remind us all what excellence looks like – even beyond the month of February.

Listen to Black History (a playlist) below and follow us on Twitter to let us know if we missed any of your favorite black artists!

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