Many Americans may not be aware of the song titled “Lift Every Voice,” also known as the “Black National Anthem,” but everyone will be able to hear this beautiful Christian hymn as it is played at the start of all week 1 NFL games.
As America seems to be undergoing an attempted cultural revolution, some of the Social Justice Warriors have even advocated for tearing down statues of Jesus, some have, and some churches have been defaced, vandalized, and even set on fire.
The current “cancel culture” we see defacing churches, defacing or taking down statues and monuments in the name of Black Lives Matter, have even gone after tributes to those that supported black causes such as abolitionist Frederick Douglass, who was black, and Abraham Lincoln who freed the slaves.
Most ironic of all is that the first time the “black national anthem” was publicly performed was for a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.
James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) was a very accomplished African-American man. He was a writer, poet, first black to pass the Florida bar exam, civil rights leader of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), foreign consul to Venezuela and Nicaragua, first black professor hired at New York University, professor of writing and creative literature at Fisk University and editor of New York Age.
In 1900, James Johnson wrote a poem titled “Lift Every Voice and Sing” that was set to music by his brother Rosamond Johnson in 1905. In 1919, the NAACP gave it the recognition as “the Negro National Anthem.”
The song is undeniably biblical. It evokes imagery from the biblical exodus of slavery to the freedom of the “promised land.” It is also a prayer of thanksgiving, hope, and testament of faith toward God.
In the first verse, Johnson begins with: “Lift ev’ry voice and sing, / ‘Til earth and heaven ring,”
in the seventh and eighth lines Johnson writes: “Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us, / Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;”
Nearly every line of the third verse has a biblical slant, reminding the listener to not stray away from God.
In lines 5-through eight, Johnson writes: “Led us into the light, / Keep us forever in the path, we pray / Lest our feet stray from the places, / our God, where we met Thee, / Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
According to statistics from the Pew Research Center, African-Americans are the most religious race/ethnicity in America, with about 8-in-10 (79%) of black Americans identifying as Christian.
Eighty-three percent of Blacks say they believe in God with absolute certainty compared to only 61% of whites.
There is some controversy because of the difference between the righteous idea that black lives matter and the organization that calls itself Black Lives Matter (BLM), a fact that many Christian African-Americans are pointing out and speaking out against the group’s motivations.
It is members of BLM who have been speaking out against Christianity and calling for the taking down of “white Jesus” statutes. BLM founders have admitted in interviews that they have been trained in Marxism and follow it as their ideology, according to a report by Daily Wire.
On the BML website, and a section titled “what we believe,” the group speaks on its goals, some of which go way beyond simply combating racism, as many think that is all the group about. In truth, many of the goals of BLM are in opposition to Christian beliefs.
The group is supportive of trans and transgenders and states it is working to “dismantle cisgender privilege” and states they aim to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.” Further, the group states they are working with “the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking, or rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual.”
The NFL recently announced that at the start of all week 1 games, the league will play the song “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” recognized as the “Black National Anthem,” first before the games, immediately followed by America’s official national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The first NFL game of the season is scheduled for Saturday, September 26, where the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans, and on Sunday, the full slate of week 1 games will be played.