A pair of new books about James Brown by his two children offers an incredible glimpse into the world of “The Godfather of Souls,” with graphic descriptions of abuse and unbelievable stories of family murders. family 40 years ago.
In her new memoir Cold sweatJames Brown’s Daughter Yamma Brown pictorially describes how the legendary singer beat his second wife, Dee Dee, and recounts her own abusive marriage. A book by Yamma .’s half-brother Daryl Brown, Inside The Godfathermade silly claims about Brown’s death, suggesting that the singer had been murdered – as were other family members.
Brown’s abusive tendencies are well documented in RJ Smith2012 biography of The Onebut Yamma’s book adds to the story instantaneously and in detail.
A long excerpt at Vulture recounts abuse she witnessed as a child. She wrote that it sounded “like thunder through the house” when her mother was thrown against the wall. “After that, the house will be completely quiet. The sound of silence is the worst because that’s when Deanna and I will wonder if our mother is alive or dead and if we’ll be next.
At the age of 5, she said she witnessed this scene:
“My mother wears a blue and white gown. Her legs were wide open and my dad was circling her, punching her with clenched fists. Doosh. Thrust thump. Doosh. Thrust thump. Blood gushed from my mother’s face. She started thrashing around, kicking her legs, raising her arms to avoid the punches and trying to break free, trying to save herself. “
After that, Yamma told about her own abusive marriage with Darren Lumar in the early 2000s. In an excerpt at The Daily Beast, she describes a particularly brutal beating on March 7, 2007 – two days before her father’s funeral – that convinced her to leave Lumar after nearly 10 years together. Lumar wanted to be put in charge of handling James Brown’s estate, but Yamma and her sister didn’t think he could handle the responsibility. He attacked her (a frequent occurrence), and when she tried to defend herself with a kitchen knife, she lightly slashed his arm. He became more angry.
Yamma wrote: “He grabbed me from behind, turned me around and punched me in the face. “I went down, and my head hit the tile floor. Hot blood gushed from a cut in my scalp. I imagined the crackling sound of a crackling egg.
“” You cut me! ‘ he yelled. ‘You f-ed up. You’re going to jail and I’m going to catch the kids. Now, your apologies.’”
But in the end Yamma decided enough was enough: “At that point, lying on the cold tile floor, head pounding and eyes blurred, I saw my marriage with absolute clarity, and I know it’s over. I’m not sure why I’m so sure this time.”
Another recent memoir by one of Brown’s nine other children, Daryl (Yamma’s half-brother), is shocking, though unsubstantiated, to the allegations of his father’s death. “My father was murdered,” Daryl Brown alleges in Inside The Godfather. He suggested that it may have been done by members of Brown’s inner circle but offered no concrete evidence. Instead, he asserted, “I just had the gut feeling that he was killed.”
Daryl also wrote that he believes Darren Lumar’s murder (he was shot in his garage in 2008) is related to James Brown’s murder and his brother’s 1973 death. Teddy Brown in a car crash is actually a murder. He wrote that he believed Teddy was shot before the car crashed.
Both books feature harsh actions against Brown’s friends, mentors, and business associates and get his later wives fired.
Reviews of Kirkus called Yamma’s book “a courageous and often unsettling look at the unflattering consequences of being the offspring of a big celebrity”. But Chicago Tribune says it “would benefit from a more conservative fact-checking,” noting some factual flaws. The Tribune rejected Daryl Brown’s book for its exaggerated claims of murder and Brown’s obsession with match-fixing with inner circle opponents.
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