Tune of the Day: Lift Every Voice and Sing
“Lift Every Voice and Sing”, now often called the “Black National Anthem”, was originally composed as a poem as part of a celebration of Lincoln's Birthday on February 12, 1900 at the segregated Stanton School. Its principal, James Weldon Johnson, wrote the words, which were later set to music by his brother John in 1905. Singing this song quickly became a way for African Americans to demonstrate their patriotism and hope for the future. In 1919, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) adopted the song as “The Negro National Anthem”. By the 1920s, copies of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” could be found in black churches across the country, often pasted into the hymnals. During and after the American Civil Rights Movement, the song experienced a rebirth, and by the 1970s was often sung immediately after “The Star Spangled Banner” at public events and performances across the United States where the event had a significant African-American population.
Thanks to Stephanie for suggesting this piece!