Emmy Winning Actress and singer Sheryl Lee Ralph gave a phenomenal performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” at this past Sunday’s Super Bowl. This marks the first time the Black National Anthem has been performed on-field at the NFL’s championship game.
The song was sung before both Super Bowl LV and LVI, performed by Alicia Keys in 2021 and Mary Mary in 2022. However, Sheryl Lee Ralph was the first person to have sung the song on the actual field.
The Abbott Elementary TV series star took to Twitter to express her gratitude. “It is no coincidence that I will be singing the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing at the Super Bowl on the same date it was first publicly performed 123 years ago (February 12, 1900), “Happy Black History Month.”
Lift Every Voice and Sing emerged as a rallying cry during the civil rights movement, according to the NAACP. The song was originally a poem written by James Weldon Johnson, a former NAACP leader. Its lyrics describe the struggles and aspirations of black Americans at the turn of the 20th century. Not everyone was excited about the monumental moment. NFL fans are divided and expressed their views and concerns on social media.
Representative Lauren Boebert, a Colorado Republican, complained about the Black National Anthem being performed during the Super Bowl. The GOP lawmaker took to Twitter accusing the league of attempting to “divide” Americans by including the Black National Anthem in the performance lineup.
“America only has ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM, Why is the NFL trying to divide us by playing multiple!? Do football, not wokeness.” NFL fan BrooklynDad_Defiant! posted on Twitter stating “My goodness we have 2 Black QBs playing against each other in the Super Bowl for the first time EVER, and the “Black National Anthem” will be sung, so White Supremacists are having a rough day.
Calm down, snowflakes. You didn’t cry like this when cops were beaten with the flag.” Even though I feel this was a great gesture, it still turned out to be a slap in the face as America continues to give us crumbs in an attempt to make us feel accepted as blacks.
I say this because none of the football players were out on the field during the singing of the Black National Anthem. As we continue to strive to create change and equality in a country where blacks are U.S. citizens, We still have a long way to go.