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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Lift Every Voice


Freedom Singers. "Freedom Is a Constant Stuggle." 1964. Broadside 22 September 1964: 1. From the Marvin Tatum Collection of Contemporary Literature.

"This exhibition takes its name from a hymn composed a century ago by two African-American brothers, James Weldon and J. Rosamond Johnson. Written in the days of the Jim Crow South, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" inspired African Americans to persist in their struggle for equal rights. During the 1920s, the song was being pasted into the backs of hymnals and had become known as the "Negro national anthem." The hymn opens with an injunction to "ring with the harmonies of Liberty," calling for those constitutional rights which were being denied to African American, and closes by affirming God and country. These sentiments frame hopes for a better future, "the white gleam of our bright star." ..." (from Overview)
Lift Every Voice exhibition at University of Virginia Library. (via PLEP)