Lift Every Voice and Sing

  • Link to Video as performed by Aretha Franklin


    Lyrics See Below




    Lift every voice and sing

    'Til earth and heaven ring

    Ring with the harmony 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 our dark past has taught us

    Sing a song full of the hope 

    That the present has brought us


    Facing the rising sun

    Of a new day begun

    Let us march on 'til victory is won!





    Lift Every Voice and Sing – often called “The Black National Anthem” – was written as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson and then set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson) in 1899.


    It was first performed in public in the Johnsons’ hometown of Jacksonville, Florida as part of a celebration of Lincoln’s Birthday on February 12, 1900. It was first sung by a choir of 500 schoolchildren at the segregated Stanton School, where James Weldon Johnson was principal.