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Thread: 'Black National Anthem' brings Denver City Council president hate mail

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default 'Black National Anthem' brings Denver City Council president hate mail

    'Black National Anthem' brings City Council president hate mail : Local News : The Rocky Mountain News

    Denver's City Council president is getting hammered with hate-filled messages in response to Tuesday's surprise performance of the "Black National Anthem" by a jazz singer during a city event.
    Chanteuse René Marie had been invited by Mayor John Hickenlooper's office to sing the national anthem during his annual State of the City address.
    Council President Michael Hancock, the master of ceremonies, introduced Marie, who sang what is known as the "Black National Anthem" instead.
    Her performance evoked angry reactions among some of the estimated 700 people at the event.
    "There is no substitute for the national anthem. Period," Councilman Charlie Brown said.
    "This is the State of the City address. It's not an NAACP convention," he said, referring to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
    Hickenlooper and his staff said they expected Marie to sing the "The Star-Spangled Banner" and that they were surprised when she sang something different.
    In a statement late Tuesday, Hickenlooper said: "I'm disappointed that this matter has been a distraction from the great work and significant accomplishments of our city employees over the past year and the many important initiatives on tap for the coming year."
    Hickenlooper said in an interview that he spoke to Marie after the ceremony and that she apologized profusely.
    The mayor also said that Marie told him she meant no disrespect.
    "She blended the two songs together," Hickenlooper said. "She was trying to make an artistic expression of her love for the country. She did not intend to make a political statement or anything."
    Marie sang the first verse of James Weldon Johnson's "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing," also known as the "Black National Anthem," but adapted those lyrics to the tune of the "The Star-Spangled Banner."
    Marie said she had no regrets. She deliberately didn't tell anybody about her song choice "because I don't think it is necessary for an artist to ask permission to express themselves artistically," she said.
    "I would not change a thing," Marie said.
    "You have to risk things. You have to. Otherwise, you might of well live your life by a script."
    Hancock said he had no idea that Marie was going to sing anything but the national anthem.
    "I just read off the script, which was to introduce her to do the national anthem, so I expected the national anthem," he said.
    Hancock, who met Marie for the first time Tuesday, said Marie should have cleared her song choice with the mayor and his administration.
    It was "inappropriate" that she didn't, he said.
    "She certainly should have given the mayor and the administration the opportunity to decide if they wanted her to sing the song that she sang," he said.
    Hancock said he's been getting hate-filled e-mails over the song.
    "I'm getting — as if I made the decision to do this — I'm receiving a lot of hate mail," he said. "I've received quite a few e-mails that are quite nasty."

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    "The Black National Anthem" by James Weldon Johnson


    Lift ev'ry voice and sing,
    Till earth and heaven ring.
    Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
    Let our rejoicing rise,
    High as the list'ning skies,
    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 has brought us thus far on the way;
    Thou who has 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.
    Baltimore O's ​Fan!

    I don''t know if she really fucked the board though. Maybe just put the tip in. -Mrs. Dark

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    Elite Member Folieadeux's Avatar
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    There was no reason to sing the 'Black National Anthem'. None whatsoever. Pulling stupid shit like this just creates animosity.
    ssabmud

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    Elite Member Butterfly's Avatar
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    I wonder what would happen if some singer sang a White National Anthem...
    ><((((º>·. ¸¸. ·´¯`·.¸¸><((((º>><((((º>`·.¸¸.··´¯`·...¸><((((º>¸.·´¯`·.. ><((((º> `·.¸¸.·´¯`·...¸><((((º>

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    Elite Member southernbelle's Avatar
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    ^^

    He'd be fined, forced into sensitivity training classes for the rest of his life, and he'd probably be sued by militant "equal" rights activists like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton for "racism".

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    Elite Member twitchy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSDiva View Post
    "The Black National Anthem" by James Weldon Johnson


    Lift ev'ry voice and sing,
    Till earth and heaven ring.
    Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
    Let our rejoicing rise,
    High as the list'ning skies,
    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 has brought us thus far on the way;
    Thou who has 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.
    Beautiful.

    "The howling backwoods that is IMDB is where film criticism goes to die (and then have its corpse gang-raped, called a racist, and accused of supporting Al-Qaeda)" ----Sean O'Neal, The Onion AV Club

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I am all for artistic expression. I question her artistic judgement here. She knew full well what they were expecting her to sing and what she could expect if she screwed with them. Remember Rosanne Barr?? I think she did it cold bloodedly for publicity. It worked.

    Of course it is beautiful-so is Ava Maria! This was not a concert hall.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member L1049's Avatar
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    "There is no substitute for the national anthem. Period," Councilman Charlie Brown said
    I have nothing more to add

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    Elite Member msdeb's Avatar
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    while it is indeed a beautiful song, there is NO excuse for this. NONE. i dont think anyone would like it if it was the White national Anthem. thats a pisser.
    Basic rule of Gossip Rocks: Don't be a dick.Tati
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    Elite Member nana55's Avatar
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    I agree, the words are beautiful and quite heartfelt. It may be approriate at many events, but not a secular fourth of July event. also not when she was expected to sing the National Antheum. I'm not a fan of the National antheum, too hard to sing, BUT that is what was approriate.
    If I can't be a good example, then let me be a horrible warning.

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    Elite Member darksithbunny's Avatar
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    I have always felt you can't have unity if you continue to divide. When will this stop? Probably never. Sadly.

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    I posted the lyrics, but forgot to post an actual comment to the story. I remember that 'The Black National Anthem' only being sung at Black History events when I was in school, a lot at Church when I was a child, and when I was in College, because I went to an Historical Black College.. However, no place else. Never at a sporting event, never! I think there is a time and place for everything, and this wasn't the time nor place. She was hired to sing The National Anthem at this event, and that is what she should have sung. Artistic qualities should have never came into play!


    A little history...
    'The Black National Anthem' was first written as a poem, by James Weldon Johnson, and then set to music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson in 1900.
    Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" was first performed in public in Jacksonville, Florida as part of a celebration of Lincoln's Birthday on February 12, 1900 by a choir of 500 schoolchildren at the segregated Stanton School, where James Weldon Johnson was principal. Singing this song quickly became a way for African Americans to demonstrate their patriotism and hope for the future. In calling for earth and heaven to "ring with the harmonies of Liberty," they could speak out subtly against racism and Jim Crow laws—and especially the huge number of lynchings accompanying the rise of the Ku Klux Klan at the turn of the century. In 1919, the NAACP adopted the song as "The Negro National Anthem." By the 1920s, copies of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" could be found in black churches across the country, often pasted into the hymnals.
    Baltimore O's ​Fan!

    I don''t know if she really fucked the board though. Maybe just put the tip in. -Mrs. Dark

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    Elite Member sparkly's Avatar
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    Those lyrics are so beautiful, and it stands on its own as a beautiful song, not just a song equated with African American rights. With that being said, it was inappropriate of her to go behind people's backs and sing it without their permission. But hate mail over it? That bothers me, especially since the lyrics can fit or country as a whole, not just a particular culture.
    Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkly View Post
    Those lyrics are so beautiful, and it stands on its own as a beautiful song, not just a song equated with African American rights. With that being said, it was inappropriate of her to go behind people's backs and sing it without their permission. But hate mail over it? That bothers me, especially since the lyrics can fit or country as a whole, not just a particular culture.
    The hate mail part bothers me a lot. Sure she was wrong in singing it in the first place, but why the hate pail. Is it because she desecrated The National Anthem, or is it because she mixed it with Lift Ev'ry Voice...and people think the Mayor gave her permission to do both..
    Baltimore O's ​Fan!

    I don''t know if she really fucked the board though. Maybe just put the tip in. -Mrs. Dark

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    Elite Member sparkly's Avatar
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    ^Even if he did give her permission, I don't see why there's a reason for the hate mail, unless there's a thinly veiled ignorant excuse for it.
    Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.

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