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Life Every Voice & Sing

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I was speaking with an associate of mine and she was talking about how her son teacher told him there was no such thing as a black national anthem. So I along with my other associates around me all collectively did a jaw drop when she told us that.

But then sometimes I have to remind myself that I live in Arizona, and teachers telling African American students that there is no such thing as a black national anthem should not be that much of surprise to me. I mean for heaven sakes look at how long it took to get Dr. Martin Luther King holiday passed in this state.

I am a east coast baby who grew up in East Buffalo NY, I grew up in an predominately African American neighborhood and attended predominately AA schools as well. So singing "Lift every voice and sing" was like drinking water. At the school assembly's we would sing the regular national anthem and then sing the black national anthem, so I assumed that all AA children grew up and sang that song in their schools until I left Buffalo.

But what befuddles me is that  an educator told a child in so many words that they was lying, instead of taking the time to have the child explain the song and also not taking the time to do some research. Google is fundamental my friend.

So for those  you that frequents this blog, let me give a little history lesson here.

"Lift Every Voice and Sing" was a poem written by James Weldon Johnson, then was composed into a song by his brother John Rosemond Johnson.

When the song was a poem it was performed by a group of students who attended Stanton school in Jacksonville FL For president Abraham Lincoln birthday. Johnson at the time was a principle for the school and had written the poem as part of an Introduction for Booker T. Washington

By 1919 NAACP (National Association for the Advancement Of  Colored People) gave the song the title of being the "Black National Anthem'' due to its power in voicing the cry for liberation and affirmation for African American people - Source Wikipedia.Org" 

Just it a little knowledge for you, It is important that beyond school that we educate the youth on history whether it's black history, white history etc. It very important that children and teens understand where they come from and what happened before them.

Life Every Voice and Sing: Written by James Weldon Johnson &  composed by John Rosemond Johnson.

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 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 chast’ning 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.

Lyrics from


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