Psalm 27:6- And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord. NKJV
February has come to an end, and with it, so are my posts on Black History. Although, I believe that the historical accounts of America have Blacks interwoven in them and therefore, our American history, is Black history!
Having said that, I thought it fitting to end with the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing!” If you don’t know the song or the words, know that you are not alone. Many people, even Blacks, are unfamiliar with the song that we claim as our national anthem. I guess that is equally true for the American national anthem.
But I know them both, and my focus today is the Black National Anthem. It was written in 1900 by James W. Johnson in honor of President Abraham Lincoln and set to music by his brother John R. Johnson. It was then taught to a Black chorus of 500 students who sang the song at an assembly. The first performance was on February 12, 1900.
The school was burned down and the brothers moved to New York to try their hand at showbiz. The students who originally learned the song taught it to other people, and the song was passed around the South. By 1910, the song was well-known amongst Blacks as the National Negro Hymn. In 1919, the NAACP, of which James Johnson was a member, claimed the song as their official anthem.
Lift Every Voice and Sing was sung in Black churches across America, in schools, at graduation, and at civic organizations meetings. It was sung during meetings about the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It was sung on marches! It was quoted in speeches! It became a song of hope! A song of resistance! A song of Black pride and relevance! It is the Black National Anthem!
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;Psalm 27:6 NKJV
therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the Lord.
I hope you enjoy one of my favorite renditions of this powerful song by Tasha Cobbs! Wonderful Jesus!