The NFL is planning to play “Lift Every Voice and Sing” before Week One games in the NFL.
The History Behind the Song
“Lift Every Voice and Sing” is a hymn, created by James Weldon Johnson as a poem in 1900. His brother, James Rosamond Johnson took the poem and turned it into a song in 1905.
It made its first appearance in public in 1900 when 500 school children performed it in celebration of President Lincoln’s birthday.
The same year, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) deemed it the “National Anthem of African-Americans.”
The song itself is a prayer of thanksgiving for faithfulness and freedom. It alludes to the Bible, referring to the story of the “promised land.” Churchgoers sing the song in Church all across the United States.
NFL players have shown their appreciation towards the NFL deciding to play the Anthem before games.
Chris Conley, a Jacksonville Jaguars Wide Receiver said, “The league taking the opportunity to play ‘Lift every voice and sing’ (the black national anthem) is sweet. It’s a great way to honor those who started this movement year[s] and years ago.”
The NFL was in deep waters a month ago, after not issuing a statement about the murder of George Floyd, since then they have released one and players put less pressure on them. The playing of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” is a huge step forward for the NFL. Maybe other leagues will bounce off this great idea, and play the song as well.