Get Black with James Brown
Months after King’s assassination, James Brown released “I’m Black and I’m Proud” as an ode to his black community. During the 1960s, where blacks were fighting and chasing after civil rights, this song for the decade solidified their war. James Brown already being the “Godfather of Funk” helped as an icon to bring awareness to the blacks fight and encourage his community to stand in their black beauty.
The concept of the song is similar to the formation of the Black Lives Matter Movement. Both are not to insinuate that blacks are better than or superior, but to combat the exclusion in history that blacks have in America and establish that we matter just as much.
In a time of much despair, the black commnity needed something that was upbeat and encoruaging so that they can continue to fight for their civil rights. And although gospel songs such as “O Happy Day” were amognst the listening ear, the black people needed a funk icon such as James Brown to help them appericate their black community.
Whether we’re protesting for civil rights, equal pay, or to the end of police brutality, the black community has always looked to its musical icons for encouragement and musical appreciation so that they can march with their heads held high. From James Brown, Beyonce, Kendrick Lamar, etc. The black music industry has not let them down since.
Mitchell, Zoë July 28 2018 “‘Say it Loud’: 50 years ago, James Brown Redefined Black Pride” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bJA6W9CqvE