The song, Lift Every Voice and Sing, was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1900. It’s best known as the “Black National Anthem” and quite frankly, I’m upset that we don’t hear it more.
When do we hear this song? Typically, only during Black History Month. And that’s cool and all…but just for the record…I’m Black every single day of the year. I need more representation out here in these streets. For the record…I am unapologetically Black! I will forever relish in the black experience. I will forever protect and celebrate the black culture. Because the truth of the matter is…if we don’t celebrate US…no one else will.
Until Black men aren’t killed for no reason and Black women aren’t stereotyped as angry and equal IS equal I’ll continue to call it like I see it. It’s time to stop downplaying racism. I mean, The Black National Anthem was written in 1900, how or why is every single lyric of the this very same song still relevant today? Talk about being oppressed!–and they wonder why more and more black people are seeking therapy today. Has anyone just sat for a minute and thought about all the ways the black community has been knocked down and overlooked time after time again?
It has been songs like Lift Every Voice that has motivated our culture for years and years. We’re forever marching until victory is won. We are forever being knocked down only to have to get back up again and start all over. But, we are resilient.
So when we sing:
“Lift Every Voice and Sing…Till earth and heaven ring
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
let our rejoicing rise,
high as the list’ning skies, let it resound loud as the rolling sea
sing a song full of faith that the dark past has tought 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.”
We mean all those words. Each day we are fighting for our victory. We’re staying true to ourselves because it would be a dishonor and disgrace to all those who have fought prior to us; besides, it’s time to see the fruits of our labor.