Say It Loud – I'm Black and I'm Proud  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

"Say It Loud—I'm Black and I'm Proud" is a funk song written and recorded by James Brown in 1968. It is notable both as one of Brown's signature songs and as one of the most popular Black Power anthems of the 1960s. The song 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.

Other versions and uses

More than a dozen hip hop musicians and groups have sampled "Say It Loud—I'm Black and I'm Proud", including Eric B. and Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, LL Cool J and 2 Live Crew.

A few performers have recorded cover versions of the song, including jazz saxophonist Lou Donaldson (on his 1969 album Say It Loud!), reggae singer Bob Marley (in a medley with "Black Progress") and the punk rock band Black Randy And The Metrosquad.

A slightly modified version of the bassline of "Say It Loud—I'm Black and I'm Proud" appears in long sections of the track "Yesternow" on the Miles Davis album A Tribute to Jack Johnson.

Jazz pianist Jaki Byard recites the title phrase at the onset of "Parisian Thoroughfare", the opening track of his album The Jaki Byard Experience. However, the recitation is only audible when the track is played at a high volume.

The song is referenced in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, inspired by Black Power protests, Will, the African-American male lead attempts to hold a protest (ironically, Will and his cousin Carlton are the only black people in the room) to get a popular teacher reinstated, he inspires "Cornflake", a white fellow student, who stands up and shouts passionately "Fight the Power Will! Sing it loud, I'm black and I'm proud", to which Will replies "See, my man Conflake's got the spirit. He's a little confused but he's got the spirit".

The song is also referenced in the track "Message From A Black Man" by the Temptations.

"Let's Take it to the Stage" by Funkadelic gives a nod to this song with the lyric "Say it loud, I'm funky and I'm proud."

R&B/Rock artist Meshell Ndegeocello covers the song during her live performances.


  • Leeds, Alan M., and Harry Weinger (1991). Star Time: Song by Song. In Star Time (pp. 46–53) [CD liner notes]. London: Polydor Records.
  • White, Cliff (1991). Discography. In Star Time (pp. 54–59) [CD liner notes]. London: Polydor Records.
  • White, Cliff (1988). Motherlode [CD liner notes]. London: Polydor Records.

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