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Black Music Month originated in 1979.  President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the month of June as Black Music Month to celebrate the wonderful music, the achievements, births, important timelines, events and to remember those we lost.

June 12: This Day in Black Music History  was originally published on

1. Nina Mae McKinney

Nina Mae McKinney

1912: Nina Mae McKinney was born. Dubbed “The Black Garbo” in Europe, she was one of the first African-American film stars in the USA and was one of the first African Americans to appear on British television. Her debut on Broadway was dancing in a chorus line of the hit musical Blackbirds of 1928. This show starred Bill “Bojangles” Robinson and Adelaide Hall. The musical opened at the Liberty Theater on May 9, 1928 and became one of the longest-running and most successful shows of its genre on Broadway. She passed away in 1967 at age 54. (Photo: Tumblr)