The gifted and talented artist Andra Day performed "Lift Every Voice and Sing," known as the Black national anthem, at the start of Super Bowl Sunday LVIII. Andra Day gave a soulful rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," known as the Black National Anthem, a song created during the civil rights movement before kickoff.
The Black national anthem, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," has a deep historical significance within the African American community, symbolizing resilience, perseverance, and unity in the face of oppression. However, some people may need help understanding or appreciating this history and thus question why it was given special recognition.
The song "Lift Every Voice and Sing," the Black national anthem, was written by James Weldon Johnson. Johnson was a prominent African American author, educator, lawyer, diplomat, songwriter, and civil rights activist. He wrote the poem in 1899 to commemorate Abraham Lincoln's birthday. Later, his brother, John Rosamond Johnson, set the poem to music, and it was first performed in public in 1900 by a choir in Jacksonville, Florida. Since then, it has become an essential symbol of resilience, hope, and unity within the African American community.
There are debates over whether the Black national anthem should be officially recognized alongside the traditional national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," at public events and institutions. Some argue that recognizing "Lift Every Voice and Sing" is an essential step toward acknowledging the contributions and struggles of Black Americans throughout history. Others may view it as unnecessary or even divisive.
Discussing the Civil Rights Movement requires acknowledging the privileges white Americans have historically enjoyed and continue to benefit from. This acknowledgment can be uncomfortable for some individuals who may feel defensive or threatened by the idea of their privilege. The Civil Rights Movement is deeply intertwined with themes of oppression, violence, and injustice, which can evoke strong emotional reactions. Some individuals may find it difficult to confront these emotions or may prefer to avoid topics that elicit such intense feelings.
Despite the discomfort that discussing the Civil Rights Movement may provoke, it's essential for individuals, mainly white Americans, to engage in these conversations openly and honestly. Confronting uncomfortable truths about the past is crucial for promoting understanding, empathy, and meaningful progress toward racial justice and equality in the present and future.
Black Americans need to learn and protect the history of the Civil Rights Movement. It is understanding the struggles, sacrifices, and achievements of those who fought for civil rights and racial justice. Learning about the Civil Rights Movement can empower Black Americans, as it highlights the strength, courage, and resilience of those who came before.
By understanding black history, individuals can draw inspiration from past victories and continue the fight for justice and equality. Protecting and learning about the history of the Civil Rights Movement is essential for Black Americans to understand their past, confront current challenges, and work towards a more just and equitable future.