On this day, ‘Say it Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud’ by James Brown reaches #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B Singles and remained at #1 for six weeks. The single also peaked at #10 on the Billboard Hot 100.
In the song, Brown addresses the prejudice towards blacks in America, and the need for black empowerment. He proclaimes 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 became an unofficial anthem of the Black Power movement.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame included ‘Say It Loud – I’m Black and I’m Proud’ as one of their 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. In 2004 it was ranked number 305 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.