Kashif On James Brown from Kashif on Vimeo.

makes the case in the above video about the affirming powers of Rhythm and Blues in the personage of the one and only James Brown and his tour de force “Say It Loud: I’m Black and I’m Proud”.

The power of music is front and center here. James Brown took an incredible gamble with his career and at that point in time did suffer the backlash of fewer bookings and a conspicuous absence from the top of the pop charts which had been a home for Brown for much of the decade of the 1960’s. As Kashif states one day to be called Black was a word that could and often would instigate a fight, the next it became a self-affirming symbol of pride.

Eventually James Brown would return to the top of the charts both as an artist and as his music became the foundation for a very creative period in Hip Hop. All popular music in this country after 1945 are the sons and daughters of R&B and that’s not up for debate. The story of James Brown and “Black and Proud” illustrate not only the groundbreaking impact of this music but the importance of supporting The History of R&B Music docu-series


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