He Stopped The Boston Race Riots After MLK Was Assassinated.

James Brown singlehandedly kept the city of Boston chill the day after the April 4, 1968 assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. Brown happened to be in town, as he was scheduled to perform at the Boston Garden the following day. There were a series of riots in the city and city officials feared more would occur with Brown’s show functioning as the central location.

But the show went on, and Brown promised that his crowd would keep the peace and also got a local TV station to air the show live to keep potential rioters home to watch James get busy. The plan worked.

In fact, there was less violence in the city that night than there would have been on a regular night in Boston. Brown recorded the song “Say It Loud (I’m Black and I’m Proud)” in the aftermath of King’s murder.