House Majority Whip James Clyburn said he will propose to make the “Black National Anthem” the official US hymn in an effort to “bring the country together.”
Clyburn plans to introduce a measure as early as this week that would make “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Black national anthem, the national hymn.
“To make it a national hymn, I think, would be an act of bringing the country together. It would say to people, ‘You aren’t singing a separate national anthem, you are singing the country’s national hymn,’” said Clyburn, the highest-ranking Black American in Congress. “The gesture itself would be an act of healing. Everybody can identify with that song.”
To make ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ a national hymn, would be an act of bringing the country together.
The gesture itself would be an act of healing.
Everybody can identify with that song. https://t.co/7LvE8eYadU
— James E. Clyburn (@WhipClyburn) January 12, 2021
Via USA Today:
U.S. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., wants a song about faith and resilience long revered in the Black community to become the national hymn and help unite the country after centuries of racial turmoil.
Clyburn, the House majority whip, plans to introduce a measure as early as this week that would make “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the Black national anthem, the national hymn and give it a special place alongside the country’s anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Some experts and historians said the legislative push is more about symbolism and would do little to address systemic problems plaguing communities of color.
“It’s symbolically notable for Black people, but in the larger scheme of things, this isn’t going to put food on people’s table, it’s not going to increase people’s pay,” said Michael Fauntroy, a political scientist at Howard University in Washington.
Clyburn said the effort is far more than symbolic, saying he aims to add weight to it as a national hymn. “It’s a very popular song that is steeped in the history of the country,” he said.
In a separate effort to “unite the country,” Joe Biden said his administration will help Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Native Americans rebuild and reopen their small businesses – Whites need not apply.