Friday, February 18, 2005

Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing

What does that mean?

It's the title of a poem by James Weldon Johnson written in 1900. This poem was composed to music by his brother Rosamond who was a composer. This song was originally used at a celebration at Stanton School (where Johnson was originally educated) for Abraham Lincoln's birthday. This "anthem" grew in importance thanks to the students who remembered the song and taught it to other students throughout the South. Twenty years later the NAACP adopted it as the "Negro National Anthem". My family sung this at their family reunions and it was sung at by the Morehouse College Glee Club yesterday at the Founder's Day Convocation. But you know what there is more to this than that.

Did you know there is also a black flag and a pledge to it. Now I've been singing the black national "anthem" since grade school, but these other pieces of information I've only learned in high school.

This flag goes back to Marcus Garvey back in the Harlem Renaissance back in about the 1920s. And here's the pledge apparently written by Amy Jacques Garvey. When I first heard this I made fun of it. THIS FLAG OF MINE!!! The red, black, and green.

I understand why these things exists. Mainly to give black America where there may not be much especially since for a long time America didn't seem to want us around, however, I don't celebrate or salute the black flag nor do I actively sing the black national "anthem" mainly because I consider myself an American first. I will stand up for black America because I want blacks to do better in many areas, but that is as far as I'd go.

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