Celebrating British Black Music and International Reggae Day

July 1, 2021

We support British Black Music/Black Music Congress (BBM/BMC) and their targeted events to mark British Black Music Month (BBMM), the annual June-July window used to highlight domestic black music, create networking spaces and provide music industry education since 2006. The Black Music Congress, which is revived this year is a discussion forum.

BBM/BMC is the UK co-ordinator of International Reggae Day (IRD) which the PRS Members’ Fund is delighted to support. It takes place today, 1st of July.

The ‘One Love’ theme event will explore how Britain and Jamaica have influenced each other’s music industry and musical style, while the theme of the Congress will be ‘New Cross Fire/Black People’s Day Of Action @ 40’/’BRAFA (British Reggae Artists Famine Appeal) @ 36’ which will highlight reggae’s engagement with historical moments both in the UK and abroad.

Our patron Carroll Thompson will take part to the BBMM2021 Queens of Sound: Women & Reggae event, as a female artist actively making music in the genre and with her musical achievements being collated by the Jamaican government as part of the UNESCO cultural global heritage initiative for the protection and recognition of Reggae music.

Talking about International Reggae Day, Carroll said: “Reggae day is an important moment on the musical calendar and cultural landscape. Its impact is deep and far reaching, positively touching lives and communities as it constantly uplifts and unites people. It evolves, shapes and influences artists, musicians, producers, songwriters and genres. From Roots and culture, Dancehall to Lovers Rock, reggae music stands powerful and enduring as a genre. ‘When it hits you, you feel no pain’ (Bob Marley).”

BBMM 2021 ends on July 31st with ‘British History, Black Music, Racism & The Music Industry 1507-2020’, a video screening and discussion on black music history and racism. The forum, which will also be attended by a representative of the Members’ Fund, will provide an update on the music industry’s race-focused activity.

John Logan, PRS Members’ Fund general secretary, said: “It’s important that we recognise and celebrate the immense contribution black songwriters and composers have made to the music industry and cultural life in Britain. It’s our responsibility also to deal with all forms of inequality and prejudice within the music industry, to promote diversity and inclusion, and to offer equal opportunities to all.”

Due to the pandemic, 2021 BBMM/IRD events are all via Zoom. For details of the events and bookings check: BBM.eventbrite.com.

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