BHM Spotlight: “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud!)”

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Continuing this week’s theme of political/protest songs, today’s Black History Month spotlight is on “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)!”

James Brown

Who wrote/performed it?: James Brown, aka: “The Godfather of Soul,” in 1968

What it means: The song encouraged African Americans to take pride in their identity, while also addressing overt prejudice they experienced in America at that time. The high energy funk song became the anthem of the Black Power moment in the 1960s, at its height.

Some of the lyrics:

[verse]
Look a’here, some people say we got a lot of malice
Some say it’s a lotta nerve
I say we won’t quit moving
Til we get what we deserve
We’ve been buked and we’ve been scourned
We’ve been treated bad, talked about
As just as sure as you’re born
But just as sure as it take
Two eyes to make a pair, huh
Brother, we can’t quit until we get our share

[chorus]
Say it loud,
I’m black and I’m proud!
Say it loud,
I’m black and I’m proud!, one more time
Say it loud,
I’m black and I’m proud!, huh

Full Lyrics…

Interesting Fact: The song was such a hit that it was included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of the 500 Songs that shaped Rock and Roll.

James Brown performing the song live on Soul Train

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