Biography of James Brown

opinion Essay
1543 words
1543 words

The Godfather of Soul


We will look into the life of James Brown. He is known for his music. In his life, he had to face many obstacles, but through determination, he changed his life cycle. We will touch on the influences in his life, developmental stage and theories that best fit his personality.

James Brown was born on May 3, 1933, in South Carolina. He lived a life without parental guidance. His mother left him with his father when he was only 4 years old. James was often left alone while his father traveled to turpentine camps selling tar for a living. James recalls the times he spent alone walking around in the woods looking for doodlebugs, and playing a harmonic his father gave him. During this time alone, he never had anyone around to talk to but himself (Brenchley, 2003).

In 1938, he and his father moved in with his aunt who lived in Augusta, Georgia. His Aunt Honey ran a Grambling house, and brothel to make ends meet. James would also earn money by working in the cotton fields, and dancing for the soldiers to help feed a household of 18 people. He also spent time in the church sweeping before every service, so that he could learn to play different tunes on the piano (Brenchley, 2003, DVD).

During his school years, he was often sent home because of inappropriate clothing. To solve this problem he would often steal in order to look good enough to attend school. By the time James reached 16 years old, he was arrested, and served 3 years in prison. While in prison he started a gospel group an earned the title “Music Box” (Brenchley, 2003, DVD).

James tried to find his place in life, his interest was boxing, and his idol was Bo Jack the boxer. He did do some semi- pro boxing in his days, and played baseball. Due to a leg injury, baseball was no longer possible. He then turned to his real passion music, and decided to pursue a musical career (Brenchley, 2003, DVD).

Throughout his musical career, he earned many titles “Mr. Dynamite” and “The Godfather of Soul” known as the hardest working man in show business. His demeanor at times was often that of a tyrant, generous nature, tolerant, or at times demanding. He was the greatest entertainer during his time. He is known for his performances on stage. The cape act that he uses on stage came from the wrestler Gorgeous Geor...

... middle of paper ...

...f his problems with the Internal Revenue Service. However, he also has the drive of a superego. I believe had he not had the determination to succeed in his life, he would not be where he is today.

We have learned our own individual personality can drive our sense of direction. The choices James made during his childhood where not his fought, he did not have the parental guidance during his developmental stage. Amazingly, he conquered all to obstacles to become successful.


Boeree, C. G. (1997). Personality theories: Segmund Freud. Retrieved January 25, 2005,


Brenchley, I. (DVD Manager). (2003). James Brown life story: Soul Survivor. [DVD].

New York: Universal Music.

Cultstock (2003). Psychology of communication: personality. Retrieved January 25,

2005, from

Enterprises, Brown J. (2001). James Brown the godfather of soul. Retrieved January 15,

2005, from

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the environment in which james grew up had an impact on his life. segregation affected his moral development.
  • Opines that if james's parents had been around during his developmental stages, he could have avoided going to prison. he would have received the nurturing a child needs during development.
  • Explains that freud's studies go further into id, the ego, and the superego.
  • Explains that james brown was born in 1933 in south carolina. he had to face many obstacles but through determination, he changed his life cycle.
  • Explains han eysenck's view of personality traits is that they are inherited. he believes that there are two second-order factors extroversion and neuroticism.
  • Opines that james' personality traits certainly fit that of extroversion. he is expressive, risk-taker, and superego-driven.
Get Access