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!
ABOUT THE SONG:
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.