May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem

May We Forever Stand: A History of the Black National Anthem

by Imani Perry

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The twin acts of singing and fighting for freedom have been inseparable in African American history. May We Forever Stand tells an essential part of that story. With lyrics penned by James Weldon Johnson and music composed by his brother Rosamond, "Lift Every Voice and Sing" was embraced almost immediately as an anthem that captured the story and the aspirations of black Americans. Since the song's creation, it has been adopted by the NAACP and performed by countless artists in times of both crisis and celebration, cementing its place in African American life up through the present day.

In this rich, poignant, and readable work, Imani Perry tells the story of the Black National Anthem as it traveled from South to North, from civil rights to black power, and from countless family reunions to Carnegie Hall and the Oval Office. Drawing on a wide array of sources, Perry uses "Lift Every Voice and Sing" as a window on the powerful ways African Americans have used music and culture to organize, mourn, challenge, and celebrate for more than a century.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781469638614
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/02/2018
Series: The John Hope Franklin Series in African American History and Culture
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 1,010,122
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Imani Perry is the Hughes-Rogers Professor of African American studies at Princeton University.

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From the Publisher

This moving history will inspire all readers, but particularly those for whom 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' is a profound touchstone.—Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher Jr. University Professor, Harvard University, and host of Finding Your Roots

In Imani Perry's hands, the biography of 'Lift Every Voice and Sing' becomes the history of African Americans over the span of more than one hundred years—a brilliant and wonderfully executed book.—Heather A. Williams, author of American Slavery

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