Lift Every Voice and Sing (Black National Anthem)

Created November 6, 1901

By James Weldon Johnson & J. Rosamond Johnson

Lift every voice and sing,

Till earth and heaven ring,

Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;

Let our rejoicing rise High as the list’ning skies,james-weldon-johnson-1

Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;

Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,

Let us march on till victory is won.

Stony the road we trod,

Bitter the chast’ning rod,

Felt in the days when hope unborn had died;

Yet with a steady beat,

Have not our weary feet

Come to the place for which our fathers sighed?

We have come over a way that with tears has been watered.

We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,

Out from the gloomy past,

Till now we stand at last

Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.

God of our weary years,

God of our silent tears,

Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way;

Thou who hast by Thy might,

Led us into the light,

Keep us forever in the path, we pray.

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,

Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;

Shadowed beneath Thy hand,

May we forever stand,True to our God,

True to our native land.


  1. It’s nice to see the face of the person who created this powerful song! I wonder how they felt and what was going threw their mind when they wrote this song. Knowing this it was written in 1901 I just know they had so much hope in our future. It’s truly amazing that this song was written 115 years ago and you continue to hear it as if it just came out this year. Reading the lyrics and just knowing who and when it was written make me feel proud and as if I accomplished something. Thank you for posting this

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