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As we celebrate June being Black Music Month, we reflect on the powerful music by Black artists about America. These songs are complicated, beautiful and passionate. Everything from belting out “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” to deep critiques about society, as James Baldwin once said, “I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.”

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See below some of the greatest songs Black folks have sung and performed about America.

10. Lupe Fiasco “American Terrorist”

9. Marvin Gaye “Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)”

8. Ice Cube “Amerikkka’s Most Wanted”

7. Gil Scott Heron “Winter In America”

6. Aretha Franklin “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”

5. Nas “America”

4. Jimi Hendrix “Star Spangled Banner”

3. Stanley Clarke Band “Born In The U.S.A.”

2. Childish Gambino “This Is America”

1. Prince “America” 


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