House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said this week he plans on introducing a measure to make “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the “Black national anthem,” the official U.S. hymn in an effort to promote unity.
The song, which celebrates resilience, was first written as a poem in 1899 by James Weldon Johnson, former leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). It was later set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson.
“To make it a national hymn, I think, would be an act of bringing the country together. It would say to people, ‘You aren’t singing a separate national anthem, you are singing the country’s national hymn,’ ” Clyburn told USA Today. “The gesture itself would be an act of healing. Everybody can identify with that song.”
As USA Today notes, the song has long been sung in the Black community, but Clyburn said he believes it is time for it to be heard everywhere.
Michael K. Fauntroy, a po… (Read more)