Lift EVERY Voice?

Once upon a time, the black national anthem stood for something. These days, for many, it's out of tune and off key.

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Jokes aside, if black America were to lift every song and sing in 2008, what would that song be? And perhaps this is why a century later, James Weldon Johnson’s song still resonates so powerfully—for some of us.

Mark Anthony Neal is the author of several books including “Songs in the Key of Black Life: A Rhythm and Blues Nation. Neal is a professor of black popular culture at Duke University and a visiting scholar at the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.