Say it loud: I'm black and I'm proud!
Brown had little to do with civil rights or black nationalism prior to 1968. Douglas Wolk’s book on the singer suggests one reason for the switch in attitude:
[In the early 1960’s, Brown] showed very little interest in the civil rights movement, at least in public — that changed abruptly with 1968’s “Say It Loud — I’m Black and I’m Proud” and his switch from an immaculate process hairdo to an afro, but legend has it that his consciousness was raised by a grenade left in his dressing room by Black Panthers. (“I’m more than just an artist,” Brown declared in a 1968 Apollo performance…“I want you to know that I’m a man — a black man — a soul brother.” It was as if he had to say it.)
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