Sunday, May 08, 2005


The good people of James Brown's home town (the one he grew up in, Augusta, Georgia, not the one he was born in, in South Carolina - isn't home a slippery concept?) have finally unveiled a statue of their most famous son. It was due to be revealed last year, but Brown managed to get caught up in some domestic violence charges, and the city didn't think it would be right to put up a statue to someone accused of beating their partner:

"We need to let Mr. Brown settle those issues in his private life before we move forward with a very public recognition of his professional life," Mayor Bob Young said last year.

Oddly, of course, Brown chose to accept the charges, which means that Augusta seems to be happier putting up a statue to someone who's accepted they're guilty of domestic violence rather than to a person who has merely been accused and, thus, still given the presumption of innocence.

Regardless, considering the reasons for the event being put back twelve months, you might have thought Al Sharpton would have chosen his words a little more carefully:

At the ceremony, the Rev. Al Sharpton, Brown's former road manager, said the statue will stand as a reminder that everyone gets knocked down, but champions get back up.

Sharpton insists that the erection isn't a "statue for his ego" - although it's hard to see how having a public subscription pay for an effigy (" a life-sized bronze statue of the Godfather of Soul himself in middle age, grinning broadly and wearing a cape") could be anything other than a bit of ego-stroke.

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