From Marc Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League
â€œGet On Up,â€ the new James Brown biopic, came in with a third place showing at the box office over the weekend â€“ but without a doubt, this is a first-rate movie.
Granted, I happen to be a big fan of the â€œHardest Working Man in Show Business.â€ But anyone who sees this movie will walk away enlightened about Brownâ€™s life. We hosted a red carpet screening of the movie during our Annual Conference in Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago â€“ and our attendees, like myself, were awed by Chadwick Bosemanâ€™s spot-on portrayal of Brown, from his iconic dance moves to his unmistakable voice. The movie itself is well done in its depiction of such a supremely complex and talented individual.
It is also a reminder to us of the impact James Brown had on this nation. In addition to being the â€œGodfather of Soulâ€ (and other genres of music and dance), he was the musical godfather of economic empowerment and equal opportunity. From songs like his 1968 â€œSay It Loud: Iâ€™m Black and Iâ€™m Proudâ€ that unified and energized the African American community after Martin Luther King, Jr.â€™s assassination to his 1969 â€œI Donâ€™t Want Nobody to Give Me Nothing (Open Up the Door, Iâ€™ll Get It Myself)â€ and his 1972 â€œKing Heroin,â€ Brown chronicled the challenges faced by Blacks in the U.S. during that time.
The greatness of James Brownâ€™s legacy is also embodied in his pervasive influence across generations â€“ from the late Michael Jackson to Mick Jagger, from Prince to Usher.
Brown was a consummate showman and courageous visionary, and through â€œGet On Up,â€ we are able to see sides of him that we never knew. I encourage everyone to see this movie.