James Brown helped blacks find identity at crucial time

During the era of racial tension in America, there were many activists who marched, protested and died uttering the phrase "Justice for all." Even after the Supreme Court reviewed the Constitution, it became obvious that justice is for all. But there was something lacking in America: cohesiveness.

The black American man was still somewhat in disarray. All he could do was reflect on the past, endure the present and somehow hope that a social change would prevail among his people and make a difference.

Then one day it happened. A young, talented black man - starved for the pursuit of happiness and thirsty for opportunity - arose and brought the message that everyone has the unalienable right to prosper in America.

Through it all, this man opened America's eyes that every black man who is born in America has the right to be treated first as a man, and secondly as a citizen according to the Bill of Rights. He has the right to fulfill his dreams, walk, live, get an education and secure all opportunities set before him.

Our children will not remember what this young black man accomplished outside of the music industry during his life, but history will always maintain the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business brought closure to the true black man's identity and helped him say, "I'm black and I'm proud."

Thank you, Dr. James Brown.

Rose Walker, Augusta

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