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PBS divides opinion over Vanessa Williams singing the ‘Black National Anthem’ on July 4

PBS has divided opinion with its resolution to have Vanessa Williams sing the ‘Black National Anthem’ throughout its July 4 celebration, in a nod to Juneteenth being made a federal vacation. 

The singer and actress, who was the first black girl to be topped Miss America, will carry out the music ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ whereas internet hosting PBS’s forty first ‘A Capitol Fourth’ annual celebration, which airs Sunday.

The music was first written as a poem in 1900 by NAACP chief James Weldon Johnson and has lengthy held the nickname as the ‘Black National Anthem.’



Williams mentioned her efficiency of the music will not solely honor the nation’s conventional Independence Day, but additionally the nation’s newly designated vacation.

‘It’s in celebration of the fantastic alternative that we now must rejoice Juneteenth. So we’re reflective of the occasions,’ she advised the Associated Press.  

The music is just not changing the US National Anthem, with Grammy Award-winning singer Renée Fleming opening the present with a particular efficiency of the conventional tune. 

Several different singers and musicians may also be performing quite a lot of completely different tunes throughout the celebration together with Gladys Knight, Jimmy Buffet, Cynthia Erivo and Alan Jackson.

PBS has divided opinion with its resolution to have Vanessa Williams sing the ‘Black National Anthem’ throughout its July 4 celebration, in a nod to Juneteenth being made a federal vacation. Williams on the present airing Sunday

The singer and actress performs the song 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' while hosting PBS's 41st 'A Capitol Fourth' annual celebration, which will air Sunday

The singer and actress performs the music ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ whereas internet hosting PBS’s forty first ‘A Capitol Fourth’ annual celebration, which can air Sunday

But the inclusion of the ‘Black National Anthem’ has sparked controversy on social media.   

Some social media customers hit out at the announcement, calling it ‘divisive’ and a contradiction of efforts to create ‘unity.’

‘I view this as divisive making a tradition solely caring about pores and skin colour, makes her a helpful Fool for the left!’ one particular person tweeted. 

Another particular person wrote: ‘If you need unity, a black nationwide anthem would not sound prefer it. 

‘Vanessa Williams can be performing that music (no matter the hell it’s) at the Capitol Fourth celebration.’

Some slammed the transfer as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘woke’, accusing the inclusion of the music as a approach to ‘create racism.’

‘This is ridiculous. There isn’t any black America. There isn’t any ‘Black National Anthem’ as there may be not a black nation,’ one particular person tweeted. 

‘There is one nation underneath God. Everything this woke tradition does is one thing to divide us. I cannot be watching as you create racism.’ 

Others hit out at the celebration of Juneteenth on July 4 that’s ‘for ALL Americans.’

‘What a farce! July 4th is for ALL Americans no matter race. Not singing the National Anthem is discriminatory towards everybody who’s NOT black,’ one particular person wrote. 

The song is not replacing the US National Anthem, with Grammy Award-winning singer Renée Fleming opening the show with a special performance of the traditional tune (above)

The music is just not changing the US National Anthem, with Grammy Award-winning singer Renée Fleming opening the present with a particular efficiency of the conventional tune (above)

Some social media users hit out at the announcement, calling it 'divisive' and a contradiction of efforts to create 'unity'

Some social media customers hit out at the announcement, calling it ‘divisive’ and a contradiction of efforts to create ‘unity’

‘July 4th is just not the infantile Juneteenth however the nationwide day of celebrating our Independence.’  

‘Well is not that cute. That will actually carry nation collectively,’ added one other.

‘So each pores and skin colour & nationality ought to have its personal nationwide Anthem? So the place do you cease?’ 

Juneteenth commemorates the official finish of slavery in the US when the final group of enslaved African Americans realized of their freedom underneath President Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Emancipation Proclamation. 

Joe Biden signed a invoice into regulation two days earlier than the celebration final month, declaring it the first Juneteenth National Independence Day.

A complete of 14 House Republicans voted in opposition to the invoice to make it a federal vacation with some arguing it will divide Americans based mostly on race and have them select between celebrating Juneteenth or July 4 – an argument some appeared to push on-line over Williams’ music selection.  

Others questioned why Williams was not performing the US National Anthem.

The arguments from GOP lawmakers in opposition to Juneteenth:

Juneteenth, the day marking the emancipation of slaves in the US, was lastly made a federal vacation final month after 155 years.

Joe Biden signed a invoice into regulation two days earlier than the celebration, declaring it the first Juneteenth National Independence Day.

While the Senate unanimously handed the invoice, a complete of 14 House Republicans voted in opposition to making it a federal vacation.

Some voting in opposition to it claimed it will divide Americans based mostly on race and have them select between celebrating Juneteenth or July 4.   

Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky claimed:  ‘Naming at the present time ‘National Independence Day’ would create confusion and push Americans to choose a kind of two days as their independence day based mostly on their racial identification.’

Rep. Chip Roy of Texas made an analogous argument: ‘This identify needlessly divides our nation on a matter that ought to as a substitute carry us collectively by making a separate Independence Day based mostly on the colour of 1’s pores and skin.’ 

Rep. Andy Biggs objected to the phrase Independence Day in the vacation’s formal identify and mentioned he would have voted for it if it was known as ‘Juneteenth National Emancipation Day.’

‘A very long time admirer of Vanessa Williams. Why not the National Anthem Vanessa?’ one particular person wrote. 

However, different individuals celebrated the information of Williams singing the music, saying ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ is the ‘solely nationwide anthem’ they are going to acknowledge.     

‘Vanessa Williams….that is the solely nationwide anthem I’ll acknowledge on the 4th,’ one particular person wrote.  

‘I’m at all times pleased to listen to Vanessa Williams sing something in any respect, however this I’m particularly wanting ahead to!’ added one other. 

Several others mocked the individuals up in arms over the music, declaring that the music has been round for a century and that the ‘Black National Anthem’ is solely a nickname.  

‘So lots of my fellow white individuals shedding so many white tears over the ‘controversy’ of Vanessa Williams singing a music at the 4th of July shindig tomorrow…’ one particular person wrote.

‘You gotta find it irresistible…! So a lot manufactured outrage! My recommendation? Get over it. Seriously.’

Another particular person agreed, writing: ‘White individuals being up in arms about Vanessa Williams performing Lift Every Voice and Sing is admittedly fascinating. This music has existed as the Black National Anthem for over 100 years. 

‘They actually haven’t any clue about Black tradition, whereas we all know them higher than they understand.’

Another particular person questioned how Americans haven’t heard the music earlier than: ‘Ma’am… Are you severely attempting to inform us you have by no means heard of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ aka ‘The Black National Anthem’? 

‘And why are you going after Vanessa Williams? She is not the one who dubbed the music with this nickname.’ 

Meanwhile, one particular person posted a photograph of a few of the pro-Trump mob who stormed the US Capitol on January 6 in a violent riot that left 5 useless.

‘Actual images of the individuals pissed about the Black nationwide anthem,’ they wrote.

‘Karen want to converse to Vanessa Williams supervisor.’

Williams said her performance of the song will not only honor the nation's traditional Independence Day, but also the country's newly designated holiday

Williams mentioned her efficiency of the music is not going to solely honor the nation’s conventional Independence Day, but additionally the nation’s newly designated vacation 

'It's in celebration of the wonderful opportunity that we now have to celebrate Juneteenth. So we are reflective of the times,' she said

‘It’s in celebration of the fantastic alternative that we now must rejoice Juneteenth. So we’re reflective of the occasions,’ she mentioned

This comes amid the controversy over Gwen Berry turning her again whereas the National Anthem was performed. 

Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry turned away throughout the video games qualifiers final week and draped a black T-shirt with the phrases ‘Activist Athlete’ emblazoned on over her head when the anthem performed. 

Berry mentioned she doesn’t hate America and does wish to characterize the nation at the Games in Tokyo, however mentioned she had a selected drawback with the Star-Spangled Banner 

The social media uproar comes as the traditional US National Anthem has become shrouded in controversy due to lyrics many feel are racist. Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry turned away during the games qualifiers when it was played

The social media uproar comes as the conventional US National Anthem has turn into shrouded in controversy as a result of lyrics many really feel are racist. Olympic hammer thrower Gwen Berry turned away throughout the video games qualifiers when it was performed  


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