ASCAP to honor Black History Month with social media campaign

Black music legends, like Stevie Wonder, Nat King Cole, and more, to be honored with daily Instagram posts.

The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) has announced the launch of a social media campaign to commemorate Black history month. Starting Tuesday, the organization will honor pivotal Black figures on Instagram, according to a press release.

Throughout the month, ASCAP will drop a daily post at 3 p.m. on both its @ASCAP and @ASCAPurban Instagram pages that specifically highlight Black artists, songwriters, and composers.

Each day, there will be a collection of reels, photos, and fun facts about music legends of nearly every genre that include Stevie Wonder, Nat King Cole, Mary J. Blige, Ms. Lauryn Hill, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Whitney Houston, The Notorious B.I.G., Charley Pride, Louis Armstrong, and more.

Photo: ASCAP press release

Tia P., an up-and-coming songwriter/artist/producer/actor, and TL Cross, a historian/singer/songwriter/producer, will kick off the month with a video introduction post. The two will drop weekly posts throughout the month, as well.

Cross, a Jamaica, Queens, native, has collaborated with the likes of Usher, 50 Cent, Jazmine Sullivan, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Mary J Blige, and Musiq Soulchild. He also founded the Cross Academy Performing Arts (CAPA), a group of teaching artists who provide classes and private lessons for youth, including Vocal Music, Drama, Instrumental Music, Music History, Dance, Songwriting, and Music Production.

On top of the daily posts, ASCAP will also feature an Instagram Live conversation with Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Keyon Harrold. The discussion will center around his collaborations with A-list artists like Maxwell, Jay-Z, and 50 Cent, as well as meaningful moments in Black history.

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Harrold has created music with a message for years. His song “MB Lament” is a tribute to Michael Brown and the upheaval of his native Ferguson, Missouri. Harrold’s track, “Circus Show” commented on the reprehensible right-wing politics of the Trump Administration.

His attention to social injustice became personal when he and his teenage son Keyon Harrold Jr. were accosted by a woman, Miya Ponsetto, in a Manhattan hotel in December 2020 after being profiled for stealing a cell phone, as theGrio reported.

Following the incident, Harrold stepped up to speak to the press and the public about the injustice. Even though Ponsetto was arrested, his and his son’s experience was the latest in a chain of systemic behavior that’s lasted for decades.

“It’s tough to look at her being arrested more than what it is,” Harrold said. “Because the person who killed Trayvon Martin is free. The person who blamed Emmett Till is still alive. Things could’ve gone another way.”

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