“Five on the Black Hand Side” Lyrics

In the Service of our Ancestors and African Love,
Listen Seeker, I come in peace,

“There is no collective memory where there is no collective effort.” — Onitaset Kumat

In 1973, a chorus of Africans lead by the Beautiful Keisha Brown wowed an independent film studio with a true, Powerful and lyrical message for Racial Uplift. Give me “Five on the Black Hand Side” was one of very few positive messages on the big screen; both a film (read review here) and a song, artists, writers, lovers of the Race got together to propose an agenda of Liberation and Restoration.

By and by, we were entertained, stunned, amazed, proud. Forty-years later the 3-minute song doesn’t even have lyrics online. To the request “Give me five on the black hand side” Elders would merely say “That was a film” yet the message, a proud greeting uniquely African, was lost; these Elders taught their descendants to shake hands and say “Yessum.” Do we care to preserve our own legacy? Does it matter to us that men and women loved us? Will the work of the African Blood Siblings be forgotten in short time? Or will the lessons of preservation be instilled? I will play my part. Here, in respect to our Ancestors, I myself will put the lyrics to “Five on the Black Hand Side” online. You won’t see it anywhere else. I can do transcriptions alone, but I need followers to create Boko (Community Centers lit. “house without rooms”) around the world. We need institutions for communal survival. We’re dead. We must recognize Love and Seek it. Can you donate to Race lovers? Can you join with Race lovers? Can you Restore the African Race?

“Five on the Black Hand Side” Lyrics
Sung by Keisha Brown
Transcribed by Onitaset Kumat with informational hyperlinks

Looking Black and being Black
Is as different as fog and rain
Yet loving it and living it
Be the way we do our thing
This ain’t no time for our people to Separate
Take out your mind, get together and Cooperate
Let’s let love be the feeling we instigate
Instead of hollering out loud
Saying “I’m Black and I’m Proud”

Give me Five on the Black hand side
Respect your Sisters and Brothers and love one another
Give me Five on the Black hand side
We can create good vibrations and build our relations
With Love

Running around and putting down
Is not the way we ought to act
Backstabbing, pushing and grabbing
Can only keep the Brothers back
We’ve got to stand up to our responsibility
We’ve got to treat one another with more dignity
So the dreams that we have become reality
Then we can walk side by side saying “I conquered with pride”

Give me Five on the Black hand side
Respect your Sisters and Brothers and love one another
Give me Five on the Black hand side
We can create good vibrations and build our relations
With Love

Give me Five on the Black hand side
Respect your Sisters and Brothers and love one another
Give me Five on the Black hand side
We can create good vibrations and build our relations
With Love

18 thoughts on ““Five on the Black Hand Side” Lyrics

  1. I love that clip from Five on the Black Hand Side. I haven’t seen that film in years. That scene is very powerful and really hit home for me. I actually have a family member who is friends with Glynn Turman. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Turman twice. He is a very down to earth brother. I told him I loved him on the sitcom A Different World. I even joked with him asking “What was it like being married to the Queen of Soul,Aretha Franklin?”.lol He’s a real cool guy. He’s a very talented actor but he has no ego.

    1. King,

      I did not even know that he was the actor from “A Different World.” I appreciate the Knowledge. It’s a shame that our people did not make “Five on the Black Hand Side” a Box Office Hit with sequels upon sequels upon sequels. Sometimes we don’t know what we have. Then talented actors go by the wayside; instead of becoming symbols of African Nationalism for our African Nation.

      1. King,

        I had only seen the film recently. A Queen-Mother (sittinducks) sent me a preview from Black Power Productions. They sell the DVD. http://www.blackpowerproductions.com/item/Five-on-The-Black-Hand-Side-DVD-193

        Though in regards to buying DVDs, it must be strategic too. We should have sent a message to the writers, the actors, the directors; the people behind the film should have been elevated to celebrity or genius, and their sacrifice for the race should have been rewarded. We should have had our own film awards set up and have preserved their memory for ages to come. And Keisha Brown should have been a bigger hit than Beyonce.

        But now, though it’s good to have the DVD, the strategy isn’t there. The ship sailed. The film was one-of-a-kind. It’s effect was the needle in the haystack. It’s consequences were minimal because our sense of responsibility was minimal. We done failed our own through lack of Organization.

      2. King,

        “Money follows value–we pay for what we value.” — Amos Wilson

        I saw yesterday that the Hidden Colors series is now running a kickstarter for a third installment. That’s what is meant by gaining momentum and becoming a series:

        The specific kickstarter is here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/6688684/hidden-colors-3?ref=live

        This sort of momentum should have been had behind “Five on the Black Hand Side” but fortunately it’s here for Hidden Colors. This is what a people responsible for their Race is supposed to do. Now there is a market for Black Documentaries for public consumption, moreso than before. Or at least that’s what Producers can presume. When we didn’t get behind “Five on the Black Hand Side” and make it a series, we communicated that Virtuous African Drama is not a worthwhile investment. Whereas when Tyler Perry wrote “Why did I get married?” and made a fortune he communicated that Viceful African Drama is.

        What are we communicating in our consumption. What do we value besides our self-destruction?

      3. I have Hidden Colors 1 and 2. Both are very educational and entertaining. I can’t stand Tyler Perry or Lee Daniels films. They promote self hatred and negative stereotypes. We shouldn’t spend a dime on these films. If you must watch these type of films,I suggest getting the bootleg copies. We can no longer support films that insult us.

      4. King,

        “When you don’t know when you have been spit on, it does not matter too much what else you think you know.” — Ruth Shays

        We should not even get the bootleg copies, nor watch it on television. Not only because bootleg and television still represents a market, but because the substance is ‘spitting’ on the African race.

        We are in need of Re-Educating our Race. Right now, we get spit on daily, as we go into stores, as we interact with police, as we go to school or turn on our televisions, we are being spit upon. Yet how we react is abominable. We go back into the store, interact with the same police, go to the same schools and watch the same programs, day after day. Each of us with better sense ought share it. Each one reach one. Now we are embarrassing ourselves.

  2. King,

    Respect to Sister Keisha Brown for the timeless message. It speaks so simply yet so powerfully to the love and respect we need to always have for ourselves as African blood siblings. In a time where so many of us aspire to rid ourselves of the beautiful Black skin that is our legacy, it’s important that you have shared not only the song, but also the lyrics. The message of the song (as it fits into today and when she wrote it), reminds me of Garvey: “The Black skin is not a badge of shame, but rather a glorious symbol of national greatness.”


  3. Five on the Black Hand Side

    Yes a great track that is still pertinent today… which is kind of sad because it proves that in forty years we haven’t progressed. In fact, we are in a more dire state of unrest than we have ever been.

    Forty years on from this film, brothas with the Eldridge Cleaver Mindset outnumber the brothas with the Malcolm X Mindset and sistas with WEAVES outnumber sistas with AFROS. Now I don’t mean to cast negativity over this positive article, but I cannot help but notice our preference for LOOKING Black over BEING Black in the year 2013.

    1. Queen-Mother,

      “In our particular society, it is the narrowed and narrowing view of life that often wins.” — Alice Walker

      Though our oppression is Political, Economical and Cultural, the reality is it goes back to our Social Organization. Appearance supersedes Character when people are Socially Mis-Organized to have no Social connection with their Communities. This is something the African Blood Siblings Boko (Community Center) addresses. If I see you every week, contributing to Community problems, I can discern whether you should control Political, Economical or Cultural affairs by learning your respective values, purpose, etc. I.e. I can see your passion.

      However, if I don’t but see you as a passerby, all I see is your fashion.

      I considered writing an article on passion and fashion. I may yet. But absolutely it comes back to Social Organization.

    1. King,

      “Through that mystical communication within, we keep on coming together” — Buju Banton, Hills and Valleys

      That may be around the time that Black Power Productions was promoting it. Sometimes in order to do for our Race we must unearth what was done. Then if we don’t connect with the unearthers, sometimes the Ancestors may connect us with what’s unearthed.

      This film should have been bigger. We dropped the ball.

  4. Thank you for posting 😊 . This movie was on last night on bounce TV 2am in the morning would really like to see the rest but was sleepy . I immediately went to find the lyrics because this song spoke to my heart . I soon will work on the practice to redo this song and hopefully rekindle the Queen and Ashe behind the lyrics , blessings and peace

    1. Peace,

      Thank you for commenting. When I first saw the film I thought I had to research the lyrics; but didn’t see them so I typed them up.

      Occasionally, the film can be watched in its entirety on Youtube:

      But there are also plenty African vendors selling the film.

      As for the song, Wise Intelligent had a song called “Being Black” which samples this one. It’s another homage.

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