James Brown’s daughters Deanna Brown-Thomas and Dr. Yamma Brown have been honoring their father’s legacy with the creation of the Brown Family Children Foundation (BFCF).
The non-profit holds itself by a mission statement “to continue James Brown’s legacy of charitable giving.”
The organization targets children in poor communities for music initiatives that provide instruments and mentorship programs. According to Dr. Brown, the organization reflects the work her father did before his passing in 2006.
“Initially to get started everyone [in the family] was in for it. My sister and I are the keys behind this but the whole family made sure they were a part,” she explained to Beats, Boxing and Mayhem. “Dad’s most important thing was to give back to the underprivileged children in impoverished. He realized coming from that upbringing that music saved his life and got him through. He wanted to make sure children that didn’t have any other way out at least have that access. There could be another Michael Jackson, Prince or James Brown out there.”
Known throughout his career as the Godfather of Soul, James Brown’s distinct booming vocals and funky rhythm sections forever altered the sound of popular music. In the late 70s and throughout the 80s, Brown’s music reached a new generation of fans through Hip-Hop sampling. Even with Hip-Hop being a new art form that was disparaged by many veteran musicians, Dr. Brown revealed that her father was intrigued and honored to see his music used by youth from a similar background.
“His initial reaction was to be thankful, happy and proud. It made him feel good and that people were really paying attention and really felt his impact on music. Then after he began to realize he probably should be getting paid for this, she laughed. “Then it was more so still admiration but that fact that I did this by my blood sweat and tears. If you’re going to sample fine, but just make sure you pay or any other artists that you sample.”
For more information and opportunities with the Brown Family Children Foundation, visit www.jamesbrownfamilyfdn.org.