James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938)

An educator, lawyer, newspaperman, United States
counsular officer and secretary of the NAACP,
Johnson was a versatile man of letters:
a librettist and songwriter, novelist, historian,
anthologist, autobiographer and poet.

Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing
(the "Negro National Anthem")
(We Shall Overcome)
Music by J. Rosamond Johnson

Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening 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 chastening rod,
Felt in the days when hpe unborn died;
Yet with a steady beat,
Have not our weary feet
Come to the place for which our fathers sighted?
We have come over a way that with tears has been
We have come, treading our path through the blood of
the slaughtered.
Out from the floomy 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 hast 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 meet Thee;
Lest our hearts drunk with the vine of the world
we forget thee,
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

Song Playing is National Anthem (We Shall Overcome)"