“Lift Every Voice and Sing” is commonly regarded as the Black National Anthem. A prior story understated its significance. This story has been updated to reflect its importance. We sincerely apologize and regret the error.
The performance of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” during Sunday’s Super Bowl marks the first time the song, widely regarded as the Black National Anthem, has been heard on the field during the NFL championship game.
Sheryl Lee Ralph, an actress and singer, sang the song before the game on Sunday. “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),” the “Abbott Elementary” star tweeted ahead of her performance.
“Have a wonderful Black History Month,” Ralph added. The historic performance was the first time the song was officially performed on a Super Bowl football field. Alicia Keys first performed the ballad during a pre-recorded Super Bowl broadcast two years ago.
According to Billboard, singer Mary Mary performed the song outside of the Super Bowl stadium in Inglewood, California, in 2022. The song, penned by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson, grew to prominence during the Civil Rights Movement as a “rallying cry,” according to the NAACP.
The song was played on Sunday before the National Anthem, which was performed by country singer Chris Stapleton. Rep. Lauren Boebert criticized the rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” tweeting, “America only has ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM.”
“Why is the NFL attempting to divide us by playing numerous games?” she continued. Do football, not waking up.” “To me, that demonstrates the NFL‘s significant effort to be truly inclusive, to say, ‘We’re going to represent all people,'” she said. “What a wonderful way to bring us all together.”