House Majority Whip James Clyburn wants “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” often called the Black national anthem, as the nation’s official hymn — a move he says can help heal racial wounds and promote unity, particularly in the wake of last week’s deadly attack of the U.S. Capitol.
“To make it a national hymn, I think, would be an act of bringing the country together,” the South Carolina Democrat told USA Today. “It would say to people, ‘you aren’t singing a separate national anthem, you are singing the country’s national hymn.’”
Clyburn’s push comes less than a week after supporters of President Trump violently stormed the Capitol building Wednesday in protest of Trump’s loss to Joe Biden in the November election. The incident resulted in five deaths and dozens of arrests and injuries.
Clyburn said the measure — which he intends to introduce this week — would be “an act of healing.”
Everybody can identify with that song,” the venerable congressman said, USA Today reported.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” adopted by the NAACP as its official song, was initially written in 1899 as a poem by James Weldon Johnson. It was later set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson.