Skip to main content
KPBS arts banner graphic


SPONSORSHIP | Become a sponsor today!

100 Years Of 'Lift Ev'ry Voice And Sing' Black National Anthem

Join Dr. Mychal Matsemela-Ali Odom for a discussion of Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing, a song poem first performed at a celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birthday in 1900.

Originally written in 1900 and set to music in 1905, Lift Ev'ry Voice is a very popular hymn at social gatherings including churches and a most cherished battle song in the struggle for civil rights, freedom and social justice.

Following the performance at the Lincoln celebration, Lift Ev'ry Voice quickly became a rallying cry for Black communities in the South.

The song grew in popularity so much so quickly that in 1919, the NAACP made it its "official song" and dubbed it "The Negro National Anthem" for its power in voicing a cry for liberation and affirmation for African-Americans.

When Beyoncé performed the song to wide acclaim in 2018 at Coachella, she joined a long list of Black performers and historical figures who have performed Lift Ev'ry Voice or recited the poem at key moments in the nation's history.


Dates and times of events are subject to change without notice. Always check the event organizer's website for the most updated schedule before attending.

SPONSORSHIP | Become a sponsor today!