A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 14, 2014
“Black and proud” ("I’m black and I’m proud")

"Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud” (1968), a funk song written and performed by James Brown (1933-2006), popularized the saying “black and proud.” “I’m proud I’m black” was cited in print in April 1964, “peat-black and proud of it” was cited in September 1964, and “I’m black and I’m proud of it” was cited in August 1966.

“Gay and proud” ("I’m gay and I’m proud") was popularized in 1969 and 1970.


Wikipedia: Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud
“Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” is a funk song 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. Both parts of the single were later included on James Brown’s 1968 album A Soulful Christmas and on his 1969 album sharing the title of the song. The song became an unofficial anthem of the Black Power movement.

“Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud” was Brown’s first recording to feature trombonist Fred Wesley.

Lyrics
In the song, Brown addresses the prejudice towards blacks in America, and the need for black empowerment. He proclaims that “we demands a chance to do things for ourself/we’re tired of beating our head against the wall/and 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!"[3] The song was recorded in a Los Angeles area suburb with about 30 young people from the Watts and Compton areas.

Songfacts
Say It Loud - I’m Black and I’m Proud by James Brown
(...)
Despite becoming a highlight of his concerts, within a year of the release of the studio recording this had largely disappeared from Brown’s set list, as he was concerned with how its message was being interpreted. Brown wrote in his autobiography: “The song is obsolete now… But it was necessary to teach pride then, and I think the song did a lot of good for a lot of people.”

He added: “People called ‘Black and Proud’ militant and angry—maybe because of the line about dying on your feet instead of living on your knees. But really, if you listen to it, it sounds like a children’s song. That’s why I had children in it, so children who heard it could grow up feeling pride… The song cost me a lot of my crossover audience. The racial makeup at my concerts was mostly black after that. I don’t regret it, though, even if it was misunderstood.”

25 April 1964, The Bee (Danville, VA), “The Negro in the North—Mounting Violence: Gheetos Brred Hate; Long SUmmer Nears” by Harvey Aronson (Newsday), pg. 7, col. 1:
“I’ll tell you something. I like the word ‘black.’ I’m proud I’m black.”
(A “Harlem Negro.”—ed.)

Google Books
September 1964, Ebony, “Mississippi Crusade,” pg. 32, col. 2:
Lafayette, peat-black and proud of it, does not mention he had risked his life.

28 August 1966, Sunday Times Advertiser (Trenton, NJ), “Teachers Union Says Aunt Jemima Must Go,” pt. 3, pg. 11, cols. 2-3:
CHICAGO—CDNS—Teachers Union has declared war on Aunt Jemima.
(...)
“I’m black and I’m proud of it,” Mrs. (Elizabeth—ed.) Brown said. “Aunt Jemima is nothing to be ashamed of. After all we all have our backgrounds.”

30 August 1968, The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), “Disc-o-takes,” pg. 29, col. 1:
“We’ve been mute and we’ve been scorned, we’ve been pretty badly talked about...” sings James Brown on his new King record, “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” The audience answers and socks the message even harder. This is a double, with “Say It Loud,” Part II on the flip. You don’t have to want to die on your feet than keep working on your knees to feel the power here.

11 September 1968, The Times Herald Record (Middletown, NY), “252 ‘students’ arrested for wrecking campus lounge,” pg. 63, cols. 4-5:
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (UPI)—
(...)
The demonstrators, who chanted “I’m black and I’m proud” but did not resist, were hauled in university panel trucks to the Champaign and Urbana jails and an athletic court beneath Memorial Stadium.

OCLC WorldCat record
Black and proud; a selection of books for children from preschool to junior high.
Publisher: [Cleveland] Cleveland Heights-University Heights Public Library, 1973.
Edition/Format: Book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Malcolm X: Black and proud,
Author: Florence Meiman White; Victor Mays
Publisher: Champaign, Ill., Garrard Pub. Co. [1975]
Series: Americans all
Edition/Format: Book : Biography : Juvenile audience : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Growing up black and proud : preventing alcohol and other drug problems through building a positive racial identity : a curriculum for African-American youth : facilitator’s guidebook
Author: Peter Bell; James Bitney
Publisher: Minneapolis : Johnson Institute, ©1992.
Edition/Format: Book : English

YouTube
james brown,say it loud i’m black and i’m proud
crabby68
Uploaded on Jan 12, 2007
james brown doin what he does best.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Monday, July 14, 2014 • Permalink