We sing songs all the time but rarely think twice about what is being sung or what message the artist is trying to get across. Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing was the song we sang on the first Sunday and on special occasions. As a child, I knew that it was on page 477 in The New National Baptist Hymnal with the burgundy cover. It even has the names James Weldon and Rosamond Johnson printed in tiny letters next to the title. I knew that this was "our" song and that we were to hold hands when we sang it. That was all that I knew about this wonderful anthem. I have since learned that the Johnson brothers lived in Jacksonville, Florida, that this song started as a poem by James, and that his brother Rosamond wrote the music for it. It was first sung in 1900 by 500 black school children on the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth. It was my intention to use the words of the song as the background for each canvas. This was accomplished by using gel medium and acrylic paint which gave texture to the surface. As a visual artist, I hope that my interpretation of this uplifting inspiring song will help others see and understand what this song means to me.
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