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The slogan has been used in the United States by African Americans to celebrate heritage and personal pride. The black pride movement is closely linked with the developments of the American civil rights movement, during which figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr., A. Philip Randolph, Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael spoke out against the conditions of the United States' segregated society, and lobbied for better treatment for people of all races.
The black pride movement permeated into the work of African American popular musicians. The Impressions's song "We're a Winner", written by their lead singer, Curtis Mayfield, became a virtual anthem of the black pride movement, as did James Brown's "Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud", and Sam Cooke's and Al Green's interpretation of "A Change is Gonna Come".
The black pride movement is very prevalent in Brazil, especially throughout their poorer population, and it is found in the Brazilian funk music genre that began to arise in the late 1960s, as also in the called Funk carioca, that emerged in late 1980s. Both the origin of Brazilian funk and Funk carioca reflects Brazilian black resistance. Ethnomusicologist George Yúdice states that youths were engaging black culture mediated by a U.S. culture industry met with many arguments against their susceptibility to cultural colonization. Although it borrows some ingredients from hip hop, its style still remains unique to Brazil (mainly Rio de Janeiro and also São Paulo).
Black pride has been a central theme of the originally Jamaican Rastafari movement since the second half of the 20th century. It has been described as "a rock in the face of expressions of white superiority."
- Yúdice, George (1994), "The Funkification of Rio", in Ross, Andrew; Rose, Tricia, Microphone Fiends: Youth Music and Youth Culture, London: Routledge, pp. 193–220, ISBN 978-0-415-90907-5
- The Black Power Mixtape – New Documentary Featuring Angela Davis, Huey P. Newton, & Stokely Carmichael - video report by Democracy Now!