In conjunction with Verizon, EBONY is journeying through our rich archives in honor of Black History Month to highlight the cultural contributions of African Americans in this country. The second video in this enlightening archival series explores the impact and historical value Black music has had upon our community.

Music has been integral to the framework of our community. Through moments of strife and victory, it has been a safe place to express ourselves and our circumstances. "It's about the evolution of where we were and what we are," recalled music icon Berry Gordy in a clip included in the video.

Across the landscape of Black history, there have been a variety of music pioneers who have laid the foundation for what we have come to understand as being our music today. Artists such as B.B. King, Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie and Beenie Man speak to its impact in the segment below.

Because of its power, the contributions that our people have made to the medium has resonated throughout the world. There is no area that is untouched by our music's influence, energy and construction. "Legacy is when you start something, create something and it becomes a thing that many can follow and learn from as it's stood the test of time and has had an impact in the world," says EBONY's October 2021 cover star Nas.