It’s Black History Month!! I’ve grown up in a world where white America has identified the black race. As a child schools didn’t know anymore than I did. So as I got older I vowed to only uncover the beauty in being Black…. Black History Month pays homage to the African diaspora of profound people throughout history… So I would like to take the time and highlight the beauty of BLACK EXCELLENCE!
As uplifting as the language of the Civil Rights movement had been in the decade prior, the tone was one of equality—“we’re as good as you, we’re the same as you, we deserve the same treatment as you.” Brown’s statement was no less noble, but the tone was completely different. In this song, Brown loves being black, he’s proud of who he is, and he portrays his race as something to celebrate, not as an obstacle to work around. What’s more, Brown doesn’t simply ask the listener to feel the same way—he insists on it.
The result was an instant smash. The song went to No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100, and was one of Brown’s 16 no. 1 hits on the R&B charts. But the cultural impact was bigger than that: By the end of the decade, “black” had replaced “Negro” as the preferred term. That didn’t happen only because of “Say It Loud—I’m Black And I’m Proud,” but Brown put the phrase on everyone’s lips. The singer himself had become the public embodiment of Black Pride, even cutting off his iconic pompadour and going natural for several years following the song’s release.
Best, Black and Proud!