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Saturday, November 2, 2013


The Negro National Anthem
African American Flag

(Lift Every Voice and Sing)

Written by: J. Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson


Lift Every Voice and Sing with Lyrics HERE 

Lift every voice and sing, till earth and Heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise, high as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod, bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat, have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears has been watered;
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered;
Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears,
Thou Who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou Who hast by Thy might, led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land


Lift Every Voice and Sing - NPR


"Lift Every Voice and Sing, A Celebration of the Negro National Anthem; 100 Years, 100 Voices / Edited by Julian Bond and Dr. Sondra Kathryn Wilson

Excerpt from book:
"Sociologist E. Franklin Frazier pointed out that in "Lift Every Voice and Sing," James Weldon Johnson endowed the African American enslavement and struggle for freedom with a certain nobility. Frazier further noted that Johnson expressed an acceptance of the past and confidence in the future. It is likely that Johnson was attempting to cultivate a sense of history among his race. On the one hand, the lyrics reveal how African Americans were estranged from their cultural past by the impact of racial oppression and that they manifested the psychological and physical scars inflicted by that injustice."


Listen to the poetry reading by S. Epatha Merkeson and a performance by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra -   HERE  (right hand side of the webpage, then click on "Lift Every Voice and Sing") /  performed by Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Morehouse College Glee Club and Spelman College Glee Club

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Every African American should know this song and the origins of it.

African American history and culture needs to be included in the Maple Hts school curriculum.

One of the reasons for the poor performance of this particular school system is probably due to the lack of pride some of our African American children have because they do not know their glorious history.