The Influence of Funk on the
Black Power Movement

In any movement, it is truly the culture (music, food, fashion, etc.) that influences the movement and records the current state of the people. Music is often seen as the voice of the movement. In the Black Power Movement, funk music demonstrates the current state of black thought: loving, accepting, and empowering black people to love and be themselves. 

James Brown, affectionately known as the Godfather of Soul, made a song entitled “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”. This song is the pure embodiement of the Black Power Movement. Black people were proud of being black and were not afraid to say it loud. 

Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Mighty Mighty” is one of many examples of the funk songs that contributed to the Black Power Movement. “Might Mighty” encourages black peopler to spread love, keep the faith, and make the best of their situations because we are the Mighty People of the Sun. It simply cannot get more empowering than that.

Charles Wright’s “Express Yourself” is yet another funk song that expressed an important aspect of the Black Empowerment Movement. For many years, Black people’s voices have been silenced and degraded and expressing one’s self was never something afforded to black people. Creating a song entitled “Express Yourself” is a protest against oppression in itself. 

It is clear that funk music was an integral part of the Black Empowerment Movement and it is a privilege to be able to still listen to this music today as a form of audible history. 

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