Written by James Weldon Johnson
Illustrated by Elizabeth Catlett
This poem was originally written by school principal and activist in Jacksonville, Florida. The poem was set to music by his brother and was first performed on February 12, 1900 by the principal’s students at a celebration of Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. “Lift Every Voice and Sing” has since become the official African American national anthem by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) and is often sung at celebrations, schools, and churches across the country.
The forward for the book is provided by author illustrator, Ashley Bryan. The lyrics of the hymn are accompanied by striking black, white, and teal linocut artwork. It’s hard not to well up inside and sing along to the song as you read the lyrics and observe the powerful illustrations! Read more >>
Originally posted on April 26, 2021.