The Black Power Movement: The Oppression Of Black People In America
The song speaks on very important issues regarding being Black and how Blacks are treated by White people as well as other Black people. From the lyrics "I was born by the river" Sam Cooke was saying he was born in Mississippi by the Mississippi River. The lyrics "it 's been too hard living, but I 'm afraid to die" may also reference fighting to make a change but at the same time being afraid to because you 'll get killed for it. In the third verse of the song the beginning lyrics are "I go to the movie and I go downtown somebody keep tellin ' me don 't hang around". These lyrics are probably representing racial profiling as a Black person just wants to go to the movies but the White people downtown are saying to the Black person they 're not allowed to be at the Movie theater. In the song Sam Cooke also speaks on how Black people do not support each other in a time of need and just attack each other. A piece of lyrics that represent this is "Then I go to my brother And I say brother help me please But he winds up knockin ' me back down on my knees". This song became the anthem for the Civil Rights Movement and was covered by other artist like Aretha …show more content…
What James Brown speaks on in the song is how Black people are perceived by others, how Black people are treated, working hard but it’s just for someone else and having pride in being Black. In the 2nd verse a part of the lyrics say “Look a 'here, some people say we got a lot of malice some say it 's a lotta nerve” which speaks on how people just see African Americans as being hostile, rude, and aggressive mainly because how we may look. In the 2nd verse the lyrics also say “We 've been buked and we 've been scorned we 've been treated bad, talked about as just as sure as you 're born but just as sure as it take two eyes to make a pair” meaning how poorly African Americans are treated just for being born Black but we need to just take it for what it is and keep living. The part of the song saying “Say it loud I’m Black and I’m Proud” could be a way to help Black people empower themselves and taking pride in the color of their skin. The fourth verse “I 've worked on jobs with my feet and my hands but all the work I did was for the other man and now we demands a chance to do things for ourselves we tired of beating our heads against the wall and working for someone else” can be interpreted to be how many African Americans spend their life working under someone else and the lack of Black owned businesses.
In conclusion the Black Power