The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104999   Message #2155979
Posted By: Azizi
23-Sep-07 - 09:34 PM
Thread Name: African American Protest Slogans & Songs
Subject: RE: African American Protest Slogans & Songs
In discussing the slogans that are associated with Black American demonstrators, I'd like to start back in the mid 1960s and then go forward to 2007. This list is absolutely not meant to be meant to be definitive. I'm writing it from my memories and from the unscientific research I'be done on the internet and from books I have looked through.


Mid 1960s

"Freedom Now!"


Caller- "What do we want?"
Group Response- "Freedom!"
Caller- "When do we want it?"
Group Response- "Now!"


Caller-"Say it loud!"
Group Response- "I'm Black And I'm Proud"

excerpts from :'m_Black_and_I'm_Proud

"Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" is a 1968 recording by James Brown. It is notable both as one of Brown's signature songs and as one of the most popular "black power" anthems of the 1960s. The song 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. Both parts of the single were later included on a 1969 album of the same nameā€¦

In the song, Brown addresses the prejudice towards blacks in America, and the need for black empowerment. He proclaims that "we done made us a chance to do for ourself/we're tired of beating our head against the wall/workin' for someone else". The song's call-and-response chorus is performed by a group of young children, who respond to Brown's command of "Say it loud" with "I'm black and I'm proud!" Ironically, as the song was recorded in a Los Angeles area suburb, most of the children that Brown was able to recruit for the recording session were actually white and Asian children, with only a few black children included in the ensemble.[1]

The lyrics "We've been 'buked and we've been scorned/We've been treated bad, talked about as sure as you're born" in the first verse of the song paraphrase the spiritual "I've Been 'Buked".

Several other Brown singles from the same era as "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud", most notably "I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing (Open Up The Door, I'll Get It Myself)", explored similar themes of black empowerment and self-reliance.

The song's opening exhortation, "With your bad self", is an example of linguistic reappropriation, and added a new entry to Brown's long list of sobriquets: "His Bad Self.",,,

"Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" was an immediate and massive hit for Brown. It became a highlight of his concerts, where audiences would shout out the "I'm black and I'm proud" response section. However, within a year of the release of the studio recording the song disappeared almost completely from his concert repertoire, as Brown was concerned with how its message was being interpreted.

Live recordings of "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" are included on the albums Motherlode (1988) and Say It Live & Loud: Live in Dallas, 1968 (1998)."

Here is a YouTube video of that song:


There are 105 viewer comments to date for the James Brown's "Say It Loud I'm black and I'm proud" video clip which was added to YouTube on January 12, 2007 by crabby68. Some of those comments are contentious, and some of them are crude, and sexually explicit. But others praise the singer, discuss the context in which he composed and performed this song, and thank James Brown for his positive influence on American music as well as his positive influence on the self-esteem of countless Black people.