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 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.
By: James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson, 1901
The United States, indeed, the world would not be what it is today if not for the contributions, blood, sweat and hard work of people of African descent, as well as those from other continents around the world. Indeed, the label American has been earned. Americans of European descent do not refer to themselves as Euro-Americans and neither should we, in any way, minimize our ownership in this country.
The term Black is often used as a negative (i.e. black market, black magic, blacklist, blackmail), indeed, its dictionary definition contains phrases like soiled, harmful and without moral light or goodness. If Black children are to grow up with pride then the connotation of “Black”, in their view, must change.
To some, the term Black is inclusive, meaning all peoples of color. Afro-American can, to some, be considered a very narrow definition of a specific group of people, and more importantly, excluding specific other groups.