A Song So Black, So Proud!

Written on a napkin and released just months after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the song "Say It Loud (I'm Black and I'm Proud)" became an anthem and rallying cry for the civil rights movement, as well as a celebration of Black culture and community. The song was penned in 1968 by singer James Brown in response to the rising racial tensions throughout the United States. Now, in first-person lyrical text, the iconic song speaks for itself, narrating the elements and moments that inspired its creation. The song continues to inspire and resonate today. It's been covered by artists like Usher and anchored Spotify's Black Lives Matter playlist. Readers of all ages will be encouraged to lift their own voices in a celebration of Black pride and identity.

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Interest Level Kindergarten - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 1
Dewey 780.89/96073
ATOS Reading Level
Guided Reading Level
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781534112704), PDF (9781668935439), Hosted ebook (9781668935347)
Copyright 2023
Number of Pages 40
Dimensions 9 x 11
Graphics Full-color illustrations

Kirkus Review - A Song So Black, So Proud

A fun and informative examination of a pivotal song in Black history.

A Song So Black, So Proud - Activity Sheets

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Author: R.J. Owens

R.J. Owens is the author of several picture books for young readers, including Walk the Walk. A Song So Black, So Proud! was inspired by James Brown’s transformation as an artist during the civil rights movement, culminating in his creation of the timeless self-pride anthem “Say It Loud—I’m Black and I’m Proud.” R.J. is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and an avid student of popular music who never leaves home without his blues harp.

Illustrator: Keisha Okafor

Keisha Okafor is a Nigerian American artist and designer whose work depicts joy and celebrates people. She captures the vibrancy of everyday moments in her bold texture-rich designs that celebrate her heritage and community. Keisha has worked with companies that include YouTube, Google Play, WeTransfer, and Visa. In her personal time, you can find Keisha maintaining her Animal Crossing island or belting out her favorite Spice Girls tracks. Follow her @keishaoak on Instagram.

Original artwork
Full-color illustrations