Thursday, June 2, 2022: Black Music Appreciation Month: Kenneth Monts looks back on a lifetime of music.

President Joe Biden has declared the month of June 2022 as Black Music Appreciation month. In a proclammation he wrote:

“During Black Music Appreciation Month, we honor Black musicians, singers, and contributors to the music industry — past and present — whose innovative talents unite us in joy as much as in sorrow and healing.  We pay homage to the musical legends whose artistic expressions help build community, generate empathy, and foster a sense of shared identity.  And we celebrate Black artists who have used their songs to stand up to injustice, fight for equality, and reflect a mirror on society — reminding us all of our enduring obligation to deliver the promise of America for all Americans.”

In this week’s Culture Rich Conversations, Kelli Patterson talks to her Uncle Kenneth Monts, a music fan and Black history buff, about the role of music in Black culture.

Kenneth Monts grew up in a family of nine kids. He says his mother instilled in him a pride in his family and made sure that there was always music in the house.


On Monts’ Facebook page, you’ll find regular posts about historical figures and Black artists.

He writes of himself, “Just a brother trying to spread some love and keeping it positive.”

And for Monts, who grew up in a time of school segregation and pervasive racial discrimination, music helped to keep things positive. In this program, he talks about the roots of Black rock and roll, and its power to heal.


Culture Rich Conversations is produced by the Black Awareness Association of Juneau. It airs on Thursdays at 3:00 p.m. on KTOO Juneau 104.3 and rebroadcasts at 7:00 p.m. You can also listen online at


Part 1: Kenneth Monts reflects: Growing up with Stevie, Aretha and James.

Guests: Kenneth Months, Black history buff.

Kenneth Monts and his grandson. Monts hopes to pass on stories to his grandchildren so they can take pride in their rich culture and history.

When James Brown sang, “Say it loud. I’m Black and I’m proud,” those were radical words in the turbulent 1960’s. But to Kenneth Monts, they were words he needed to hear and stayed with him for a lifetime. In this interview with his niece, Kelli Patterson, Monts talks about how Brown and other Black performers changed the world.

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