Appreciating our Changing Culture: DE&I

June 22, 2022

June is a month with quite a few commemorations and special events. The Summer Solstice was on June 21st giving us the longest day, shortest night of the year as well as the beginning of Summer. We also see Father’s Day and Juneteenth on the 19th, Flag Day on the 14th plus Flag Week, and for monthly celebrations we have Pride Month and Black Music Appreciation Month.

The point of these celebrations is to pause and appreciate and learn about some of the great struggles for the betterment of our world. AMS Fulfillment is a B Corporation, committed to ‘Be the Change’ and better the world through our decision-making. We place strong emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) as one of the many ways we work toward a better world.

We talked about Pride Month and the associated struggle for fairness in a blog published June 1st, and we talked about Juneteenth with its poignant message a few days later. In this blog we’d like to talk about “Black music appreciation” taking note of the profound cultural changes that were urged forward by Black music during the Civil Rights Movement.

Below is the opening paragraph of the White House Proclamation on Black Music Appreciation Month, 2022:

“Music has the power to lift our spirits, comfort our souls, and inspire our hearts.  It gives a voice to the human spirit, creating a common language that unites people and breaks down barriers.  Perhaps no music has had as profound and powerful an impact in shaping America’s musical score as Black music. Intricately woven into the tapestry of our Nation, Black music enriches our lives and pushes the boundaries of creativity.  Throughout the decades and across the country, Black music has fueled a myriad of genres — from rhythm and blues to jazz, gospel, country, rap and more. This month, we celebrate the extraordinary legacy of Black music on American culture and recognize the indelible impact it continues to have on the world.”

In this writing we will focus on one song, written by Sam Cooke, which became the anthem for the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960’s: A Change Is Gonna Come.

From Wikipedia we find the following information about this iconic song:

“This 1964 R&B hit, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come,’ written and performed by Sam Cooke is among the most recognizable pop songs associated with the African American Civil Rights Movement. The song was inspired by various events in Cooke’s life, most prominently when he and his entourage were turned away from a whites-only motel in Louisiana. Cooke felt compelled to write a song that spoke to his struggle and of those around him, and that pertained to the Civil Rights Movement and African Americans.

“In 2007, the song was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress, with the National Recording Registry deeming the song “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important.” In 2021, it appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, ranked at No. 3.”

Sam Cooke was right – a change did come and it has kept coming. While discrimination based on race or gender still can be found, much has changed and much is changing in the cultural climate. Companies like AMS and other B Corporations take steps every day to make sure their hiring and promotion enhances diversity, provides equity, and is inclusive. Today there are more than 5,000 B Corporations, and that is good news!

You can enjoy Sam Cooke’s iconic song HERE.

Photo Credit: William Recinos