James Brown #GetOnUp: There’s More to Being Brown and Black than Meets the Eye

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By the end of the film, the film reminds audiences how Little Richard and James Brown “shook up” the world, causing everyone from Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson, and Prince to steal something from them. Yes, the two scenes that feature Richard and Brown are, alone, worth the price of the popcorn. While the film does not provide a full sense of Brown’s global influence and his continued influence on today’s popular music, three of the film’s messages are clear and powerful: African Americans are the soul of America, just because one is down does not mean that one cannot get on up, and African Americans need to remember and be taught their genius in all aspects of life to demolish the current nihilistic culture.

My Uncle Punchie always says to me, “Man, you don’t understand; from 1964 to 1970, James Brown liked to danced us to death.” And, my father would always say, “With one song, James Brown changed how the vast majority of Black folks felt about themselves.” As such, it may be expecting too much for a film to get it all right, but I do plan to add this one to my collection when it becomes available on DVD.