During the 1960’s Racial, economic and political tensions ran high during the United States. At a time of unrest among many communities in the United States, music was an important element that allowed for unification, expression and a good time. A new genre of music arose during this time known as funk. Funk music consisted of upbeat and wavy melodies. Funk hit the clubs all across the United States. New songs had the power to get people dancing on their feet. Artists like James Brown, Chaka Khan and Earth, Wind and Fire, ruled the music scene. Their songs could be heard on dancer floors across the country.
The Great Chaka Khan
Chaka Khan is a singer,songwriter, and musician that is often known as the Queen of Funk. Khan had many popular hits including “I’m Every Woman”, “Do You Love what You Feel” and “I Feel for You”. Despite her busy schedule, Khan made time to uplift her community. She had a deep commitment to women and children at risk which led her to create the Chaka Khan Foundation. This Foundation focused on public education campaigns on family resources and autism awareness. Her work with autism was inspired by her nephew who she described as “gifted and full of life”. Khan’s foundation is still running today and serves to spread autism awareness and help at risk families in need.
The One and Only James Brown
James Brown known as the Godfather of soul created many upbeat and popular hits throughout his career. He created music that helped propel the dance scene throughout the United States. His most popular hits include “I Got You”, “Papa’s got a Brand New Bag” and “Please, Please, Please”. Along with creating many fantastic hits he also used his music to advocate for the black community. His song “Say it Loud – I’m Black and Proud”. This song allowed black everywhere to celebrate their culture and be proud of who they are despite what society thinks. Even though Brown had an interesting relationship with his advocacy, he was vocal about many problems within the black community. He often went to council meetings to advocate for better schooling for young blacks and used his music to help inspire young black Americans.