Daughter continuing legacy of James Brown

By: Jessica Hunter
Mar 30, 2016
Deanna Brown-Thomas Giving Speech at Claflin
Deanna Brown-Thomas speaks at Claflin on March 30. (Panther photo by Jessica Hunter)

Continuing the Legacy of Soul is very important to James Brown's daughter Deanna Brown-Thomas.
The legendary singer's daughter spoke to Claflin University's Residential Life and students March 30 to about the importance of making good choices in life. She also discussed her plans to continue the legacy of her father's teachings through the music department and creative arts.
Deanna mentioned how important it is to have education in life.
"What you're doing here is the best thing you can be doing in your life by pursuing an education. Don't mess it up," she said.
Deanna encouraged the young people in the audience to be careful with their life's choices overall. "Because life is nothing to play with," she said.
She then cited her father's background growing up. Deanna told the audience how he grew up in a grown-up atmosphere at a very young age.
"Music was what took his mind off of things for a while," she said. He was self-taught and his highest education was seventh grade." Everything he had was a God-given talent."
When it came down to finances, she mentioned how promoters had their idea of a share of the money for the night of events but her father had someone standing at the door too keep count of all who came inside to see his performance.
The promoters would either get gone at the end of the night with all of the money or when they saw  Brown, they would lie about the capacity of the audience at the event just to keep the money to themselves.
But in return, people he had at the door would click the hitters to let him know who all came into the show.
 "James Brown was always ahead of the game," she said. "Someone was always trying to get over on him. He knew the lies they were going to tell along with the phony numbers, so he made sure to have somebody there to look out for him." Deanna said.
"He didn't have much education but he knew how to add, subtract, multiply and divide," she said. "My father was amazing and very street smart." He used his skills in a positive way and in the right way to get ahead.
Deanna Brown-Thomas mentioned how the churches he grew up in Augusta still today use brass instruments.
"They find that very important," she said. "From the usage of trumpets, horns, harmonicas etc., they spend a lot of time with music."
Section Navigation
Support the next generation of Claflin Leaders
Your support provides educational enrichment through student schloarships, loan funds, instructional classroom equipment, preparing Claflin's students to be leaders of the future.