‘Black National Anthem’ Stirs Controversy for City

Posted on July 2, 2008. Filed under: Culture, Politics, Reverse Discrimination |

This is ridiculous! There is NO substitute for the national anthem and what this woman did was rude and in poor taste. There should be no such thing as a ‘black’ national anthem. We’re all Americans. If you want to separate yourself, then go form your own country somewhere and you can use that song as your national anthem.

‘Black national anthem’ stirs controversy for city
reported by: Thanh Truong

DENVER – Mayor John Hickenlooper’s annual State of the City address may get more attention for what wasn’t included than what was.

At the start of the event Tuesday morning, City Council President Michael Hancock introduced singer Rene Marie to perform the national anthem.

Instead, she performed the song “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which is also known as the “black national anthem.”

When she finished, the audience responded with mild applause. The national anthem was never performed.

Marie told 9NEWS she kept her plans to switch songs quiet until the very last moment. She says only she, her husband and a friend knew she was going to sing something other than the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

She says she wanted to express her love of her country by mixing the lyrics of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” with the melody of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”

“When I decided to sing my version, what was going on in my head was: ‘I want to express how I feel about living in the United States, as a black woman, as a black person,'” said Marie.

Hickenlooper’s staff picked Marie to sing the national anthem. The mayor says he believes Marie did not intend to offend anyone or make a political statement.
When asked if he was offended, Hickenlooper said, “You know I was more confused and I think I was more – what I was, was disappointed and confused and that’s why I wanted to talk to her.”
“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson in 1899 and set to music by his brother in 1900.
City Councilman Charlie Brown took to talk radio Tuesday afternoon to criticize the absence of the national anthem at the State of the City proceedings.
“There is no substitute for the national anthem, period,” Brown said. “And that’s what really bothered me. You know when we fly the flag, the American flag, it’s always the highest flag, as it should be. And that didn’t come across today, that didn’t happen today.”
In hindsight, both Brown and Hickenlooper say they should have stopped Marie or began singing themselves.
Marie says if she had the benefit of doing it over, she would sing the same song.
When asked if she would apologize for what happened she said, “No I do not.”
Marie has been singing professionally for 10 years.
Brown says he doesn’t have a problem with people expressing their views, but he says Marie chose the wrong venue.

LINK: http://www.9news.com/news/article.aspx?storyid=94919&catid=339


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3 Responses to “‘Black National Anthem’ Stirs Controversy for City”

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Can you imagine the furor if some white singer had substituted the National Anthem with “Dixie”. Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson would be having a fit! The “R word” would be flying all over the place! You can expect Cindy Sheehan and Michael Moore to jump to the defense of this lady though! Double standard? Well yeah!

I wish I could agree w/her actions as I truly believe it is a beautiful song. However, she was wrong. She was asked or hired to perform the National Anthem and that’s what she should have done. NO song is a substitute and this comment is coming from a 43 yr old proud Black woman.

You know we are a melting pot of people under the United States of America. She should have song the song correctly. She is a black woman who is making a personal statement. There is no substitute for the national anthem, that is why it is called that, Not the Black National Anthem. Maybe she should move to Africa….It is just another form of Feminism….

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