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Is It Because I'm Black
Syl Johnson Lyrics


Instrumental

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Faith Garcia

The dark brown shades of my skin, only add colour to my tears
That splash against my hollow bones, that rocks my soul
Looking back over my false dreams, that I once knew
Wondering why my dreams never came true

Is it because I'm black?
Somebody tell me, what can I do
Something is holding me back
Is it because I'm black?
In this world of no pity
I was raised in the ghetto of the city
Momma, she works so hard
To earn every penny
Something is holding me back
Is it because I'm black?

Like a child stealing candy for the first time, and got caught
Thiefing around life's corner somewhere I got lost
Something is holding me back
I wonder, is it because I'm black?
Somebody tell me what can I do
Will I survive, or will I die?

You keep on holding me back
You keep on holding on
You keep on picking on me
You keep on holding me back
You keep on holding on
You keep on holding on
You're holding me back
I wonder why, you do me like that
But you keep on holding me back
You keep on putting your foot on me
But I, I've got to break away
Somehow and someday
Cause I wanna be somebody so bad, so bad
I wanna be somebody, I wanna be somebody so bad
You see, I want diamond rings and things, like you do
And I wanna drive Cadillac cars
I wanna be somebody so bad
But you keep on putting your foot on me
And I, I believe, I believe I can break away
And be somebody, somehow, and someway
Ya see, I heard somebody say one time
You can make it, if you try
And some of us, we tried so hard, we tried so hard
I want you to know that I don't speak for myself
But I speak for y'all too right now
Ya see, if you have white-like brown skin and a high yeller
You're still black
So we all got to stick together right now
This I wanna say to you my sisters and my brothers
Right on sister
Right on brother

Dig this:
And we keep on pushing down
We've got to make it a little bit further
We've got to make it a little further
All we got to do is try, try, try
And some of us, we've tried so hard
We've tried so hard, we've tried so hard
We've tried so hard, so hard to be somebody
We've tried so hard, although, they're holding us back
And it stairs the reason, that they're doing us like that
You know what? It is
I believe, it is because we are black
But hey, we can't stop now, we can't stop now
We've got to keep on, keep on, keep on, keeping on
We've got to keep on keeping on
I know and I know and I know that you know that I know it ain't right
Oh, it ain't right, it ain't right, it ain't right
That they hold us, hold us, hold us back
They're holding us back, they're holding us back
I wonder, sometimes I sit down, sit down and I wonder

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“IS IT BECAUSE I'M BLACK” TRACK INFO

Written By
Syl Johnson, James Jones & Glenn Watts
EXPAND TRACK INFO
NEXT UP
Come Together
SYL JOHNSON
Is It Because I'm Black (1970)
SYL JOHNSON
1.
Is It Because I'm Black
2.
Come Together
3.
Different Strokes
4.
Together Forever (Missing Lyrics)
5.
Concrete Reservation
6.
Black Balloons (Missing Lyrics)
7.
Walk a Mile In My Shoes (Missing Lyrics)
8.
I'm Talkin' 'Bout Freedom (Missing Lyrics)
9.
Right on
COMMENTS
Liquid_Swords1995 201
a year ago
But it does not explain anything about the meaning behind the lyrics, so stop doing that would you.

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All comments from YouTube:

DraculaMemoirs

R.I.P. to the great Syl Johnson. It's a legacy that will last until the end of time.

William Shakespeare The Turd

Yo... Heavy dayz

DACHIR GALLOU

The Original... https://youtu.be/fHt_mT8Yv6g

Mississippi Delta Blues Information.

thank you. i'm so sad.

Tina L. Davidson

I'm Asian (Vietnamese), but still feeling this for the Black community. Lyrics are Powerful...and unfortunately still relevant.
"I wanna be somebody so bad
But you keep on putting your foot on me
And I, I believe, I believe I can break away
And be somebody, somehow, and someway..."

David White

Syl Johnson died a millionaire.

Ray Davis

The voice, the complexity of a smoky blended scotch whiskey, forged by pain, alienation and the tortuous self doubt of a people who are not judged by the content of their character but by the color of their skin.......still. The lyrics speak of the historical narrative of constantly trying to prove ones humanity, trying to be accepted in a nation where your skin color is a permanent stain, blot, cancer to many who can't see your heart, gifts, genius through your Black skin. The delivery; soulful, bluesy and gospelesque placed with anguish. The lyricist connotes the weariness of trying to prove that you are capable, that you are truly human and humane. We are not the stereotype thug propagated by a system that despite that you are dressed to the nines, your accomplished lexicon, educational pedigrees, wall street work ethic, veteran status and elite neighborhood attainted still defaults you to less than human because of your the dark brown stain of your skin. That dark brown stain makes them believe you are less than human. The relevance of this song still is tragically haunting as we were lynced by ropes yesterday and noosed by knees today, whipped by tasers and enslaved in for profit prison industrial systems. As African Americans despite often exceeding every barrier set; educational, financial, work ethic, military service are still required almost every day to on some occasion or another to ask the inevitable question, is it because I'm Black. Goddamn.

Rashid Rashman

Beautiful meaning words brother, we will never stop bigotry in this world but know there are many who try and will never succumb to giving up. Blessings reign upon you.

Pyro Dutch

Preach brother preach!!!

Brian James

AMEN GOD 🙏 BLESS

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