Monday, December 25, 2006

James Brown, Godfather of Soul and Republican, dead at 73

None of the media are including it in their reports, but, James Brown wasn't only a singer. He was an icon of the Civil Rights movement calling for restraint from the Black community after the assasination of Martin Luther King Jr. He preached to the Black Youths that education and ownership were better ways to seek justice than rioting.

His 1968 song, "Say it Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud" preached economic self-reliance and taught generations of hard-working blacks it was time to "get our share."

He campaigned for Richard Nixon and in 2003 was the featured attraction of a D.C. fund-raiser for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

In 1999, when asked by Rolling Stone magazine to name a hero of the 20th century, he named Republican Sen. Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina. "Senator Thurmond has been able to stay afloat all these years, and he's great for our country," the black soul singer tells Rolling Stone. "When the young whippersnappers get out of line, whether Democrat or Republican, an old man can walk up and say, 'Wait a minute, son, it goes this way.' And that's great for our country. He's like a grandfather to me."


On losing Ronald Reagan and Ray Charles so close to each other, he called into the Anderson Cooper show on CNN and said, ": I'm kind of in an uproar. I love the country and I'm a countryman and I got -- you know I've been around a long time, through many presidents and everything. So after losing Mr. Reagan, who I know very well, then Mr. Ray Charles, who I worked with and lived with like, all of our life, we had a show together in Oakland many, many years ago and it's like you just found the placard.

It just shows you that you never know what is going on. You got to love each other and you got to try to get along with each other as much as we can. And the young kids got to try to be productive other than destructive to themselves."

He entertained the troops in Viet Nam.

It should also be noted that he did have many troubles in his life. He was imprisoned and had to deal with a drug habit that led to him severely mistreating his wife. He was far from a perfect human, as we all are. Still, he accomplished a lot of good that goes unmentioned in many articles.

James Brown, Godfather of Soul, Civil Rights Icon, may have had troubles with his life, but he was a Republican, something that also does not get mentioned in articles about him.

May he rest in peace, his music lives on.


Lew

4 comments:

Tyca said...

In loving memory:

http://godfather-of-soul-james-brown.blogspot.com/

Keep the soul alive, tell your friends!

Lew Waters said...

Very nice site, Tyca. Here is a link to the url you supplied.

James Brown Blogspot

Thank you.

coboble said...

Sen. Strom Thurmond, was he kidding?

Lew Waters said...

coboble, not everything is as it seems, often. While I will be the first to admit Blacks have historically been treated badly in Southern States, Blacks have a rich heritage down there as well.

Like the rest of us, Black people have their own thoughts on matters and many see that the Democrat party isn't as good for them as the media portrays.

For Brown, long ago he saw that the best hope for Blacks to acheive equality was through education and ownership, after legal barriers were brought down.

For me, I see keeping them in ghettos on the government dole as another form of oppression, telling them they can never make it, so don't even try.

Strom Thurmond was from an era of great injustice and repudiated that stance. Supposedly, Democrat Robert Byrd, former KKK member and bigot in his own right, also repudiated that stance, but his comments on "white niggers" a couple years ago makes me question if he really did.

If we are to accept Blacks as our equals, then we must also be prepared for them having varying views on things just as we do. After all, they are free thinking humans just as we are and deserve our respect for their views.