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A clip from the documentary, "The Night James Brown Saved Boston", features discussion by Civil Rights activists Dr. Andrew Young and Rev. Al Sharpton on the magic of the song "Say it Loud-I'm Black and I'm Proud" and its context within the civil rights movement and the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. James Brown "helped a generation of his people."
"Say It Loud -- I'm Black and I'm Proud" was written and recorded by James Brown in 1968. It was released as a two-part single which held the number-one spot on the R&B singles chart for six weeks, and peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. The song became an unofficial anthem of the Black Power movement.
Transcript of video:
James Brown: Uh, with your bad self. Say it louder (I got a mouth). Say it louder (I got a mouth).
Dr. Andrew Young: James Brown's I am Black and I am proud was. It was an affirmation of self respect and it was a challenge to others to respect themselves and to respect him.
James Brown: Brother, we can't quit until we get our share. 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.
Fred Wesley: Everybody was trying to think of what to say about Martin Luther King and shocked about the situation in America, the Civil Rights movement. Everybody just wanted to know how to capsulize it. And so when James Brown said, say it loud I'm Black and I'm proud, that's it. That's it. So when they said everybody followed back - I'm Black and I'm proud.
Rev. Al Sharpton: The words where magical. I mean, that was the ultimate emancipation.
James Brown: Say it loud. I'm Black and I'm proud. Say it loud, I'm Black and I'm proud.
Fred Wesley: Every crisis is an opportunity. He is one of the few people that took the crisis of 1968 and turned it into an opportunity to really help a generation of people.
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