Black anthem remembered 40 years later

Aug. 10, 2008 at 2:25 PM   |   Comments

BOCA RATON, Fla., Aug. 10 (UPI) -- The black anthem, "Say It Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud," is still important 40 years after it was first released, a Florida radio station manager says.

Jerry Rushin, who manages South Florida's WEDR and WHQT radio stations, said the funk song by singer James Brown is historically relevant for its impact on the civil rights movement of the 1960s, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported Sunday.

"It's probably the most important soul record because of its timing and the issues at the time," Rushin said of "Proud," which was released in August 1968.

Florida Atlantic University history professor Christopher Strain also recognizes the song's historical importance during those tumultuous times.

"It stood for black empowerment and self-reliance," he said. "The political climate in which he wrote the song couldn't have been more timely."

Yet Brown downplayed his creation's relevance in a 1986 autobiography, going so far as to call it "obsolete," the Sun-Sentinel reported.

"The song is obsolete now. Really, it was obsolete when I cut it, but it was needed," Brown wrote. "You shouldn't have to tell people what race they are, and you shouldn't have to teach people they should be proud."

Topics: James Brown
© 2008 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Kelly Clarkson makes first post-baby appearance in ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Kari Byron, Tory Belleci, Grant Imahara depart 'MythBusters'
George Clooney to marry Amal Alamuddin next month in Italy
Jennifer Lopez declares she doesn't 'whore around'
Iggy Azalea: 'Call me Iggy or I will kill you'
Trending News