Growing up in Newark, NJ I remember attending church and learning the African American National Anthem also known as the song, Life every voice and sing. I sang it from K-5th grade. I remember Newark was big on teaching African American studies in school. We sang that song in school too during singing class and during plays. It was an important part of my childhood.
The African American National Anthem is important to me because I want to remember where I came from.
I want to remember what people went through to have what I have today. To me the song was hope and positive outlook during dark times.
As an African American, there are very few cultural things that are ours. I feel it’s my duty to keep alive the traditions certainly positive ones. This is why I feel now is when my kids should hear it and why I should be the one to teach them the song.
I know the time the song was made wasn’t a positive time but the affect it had on those that sang it with hope clearly made it just that.
As a culture we don’t all know where we came from. I believe we had so much before our people were enslaved. It’s only right to keep their spirits alive. This song will be just as important to little man and little lady.
Lift every voice and sing, 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 died
We have come over a way that with tears has 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.
Do you know the African American National Anthem? Have you ever heard of it?