Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Revisiting the Negro National Anthem

A few weeks ago we shared our thoughts about one of the cultural gems of the African American historical experience, the inspirational treasure formally called “Lift Every Voice and Sing” but known for generations as the Negro National Anthem.

The post generated a few comments, most of them offline, and generally concurring with our discomfort at how the song is rendered in such dreadfully dole fashion by performers who seem to have no appreciation for the classic.

Today, we were pleased to see a public comment from our most prolific correspondent, Anonymous. He seems to say that he loves hearing the song so much that he doesn’t mind when it is rendered in funereal fashion.

One reader called our attention to a rendition of the anthem that is much to our liking, not only for its robustness but also because the performing artist, Cleveland’s own William Clarence Marshall III, has an appreciation for the work.

You can hear Marshall’s efforts here, from a 2011 Black History Month event at Cleveland City Hall. While few of us can match the voice of a trained professional, can we all take note of his tempo and his appreciation of the lyric?

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