James Brown sings 'Say It Loud, I'm Black And I'm Proud' 1968

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/06/19/james-brown-sings-say-it-lou.html


Uh, the audience


James had a knack for anthem songs.

A good piece on the Say it Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud relevance:

The song became an anthem and lifted a downtrodden black community’s spirit 40 years ago this month.

“It’s probably the most important soul record because of its timing and the issues at the time,” said Jerry Rushin, general manager of South Florida radio stations WEDR (FM 99.1) and WHQT (FM 105.1).

The summer of 1968 was not a hot one like the previous three, which had seen Los Angeles’ Watts neighborhood, as well as areas of Cleveland, Detroit and other cities, go up in flames. The riots of 1968 had come in spring with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s April 4 assassination.

Cities again exploded. Chicago. Detroit. Newark, N.J. Washington.

Brown, performing in Boston that day, was credited with keeping that city calm.


I grew up a white boy in suburbia and the mountains of Pa, but my parents were funky proper.

My dad became a crotchety, miserable old drunk who only listens to oldies, but he was at one point, funky apparently. He always told me how he went to see James Brown in the early 70’s and he was the lone white guy in the audience, with pride, but that he was always upset with James Brown after he did this song.

My father also liked to casually make racist jokes.

I always disagreed with my father on those parts. I get it.

White people- I’m not black, but even I get the fact that being proud of who you are when you’re kept down by the man- it’s not something meant to show hate towards other groups.

Saying Black Lives Matter is not saying “fuck white people” the way racist assholes take it- it’s a solidarity thing that’s not meant to be a middle finger to people who care.

I wish more people fighting against all this would just get the meaning already, it’s not hate directed at others- it’s love for self with the oppressed here. I’m not affected- but I get it.

And I have my father to thank to this day (if I still spoke to him) for getting me into James Brown and the blues.


Funny enough- I just bookmarked that exact vid last week- so damn funky and the dancer and band just 70’sing it up so hard, added it to my playlist.

That was definitely Brown at his peak


Kinda obligatory


Absolutely. You can see an 18 year old Bootsy Collins just destroying on bass there.

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.