I recently came by an old Billboard feature of the 1980s, when it had a 'black' music page, and a 'Rhythm & Blues' column written by Nelson George. In the July 5 1986 edition, he led with a piece highlighting an NME feature written by Paola Hewitt entitled 'Why British Black Music Does Not Stand A Chance' - it makes interesting reading nearly two and a half decade - hope you can read from the image below.
BMC's British Black Music Month initiative stems from America's Black Music Month, which is marked in June. sadly, support, from what I can see in terms of features and ads in billboard, must be waning. Anyway, I found a piece I wrote for the trade magazine's June 2 2001 edition to mark that year's Black Music Month, entitled Black Music In The U.K., where I had pundits tip British acts to look out for across six genres. Only a couple of the names, Craig David and Courtney Pine, are still going strong as of the time of writing, whilst Karl Hinds is making a come-back.
If that's too depressing, have some fun reading The 40 influential British Black Music DJs of the last 40 years