Lift every voice and sing,About James Weldon Johnson (1900)
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies 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 the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.
Stony the road we trod,
Bitter the chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?
We have come over a way that with tears have been watered,
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past,
Till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who hast by thy might 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,
Shadowed beneath thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to Our GOD,
True to our native land.
Kim Weston - "Lift Every Voice & Sing" (Black National Anthem)
R&B singer Kim Weston sings "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" in front of a 100,000 at Wattstax--a festival at the Los Angeles Coliseum on August 20, 1972 organized by the Memphis Stax label to commemorate the 7th anniversary of the Watts riots and black power, pride, culture, tradition and heritage struggle. The party and peacefulness was seen by some as "African Americans answer to Woodstock". Be it charity or benefit, in order to encourage as many members of the black Americans community in LA to attend the event at Memorial Coliseum, tickets were sold at $1.00 each. Customs included advertisements and commercials in play for the event. There have been several recordings from this festival and a documentary film. It was a celebration to upstage all celebrations. Reverend Jesse Jackson gave the invocation, which included his "I Am - Somebody" poem, which was recited in a call and response with the assembled stadium crowd. There was a film directed by Mel Stuart which was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Documentary in 1974._________________________________________________________