for Sing a Song
by Kelly Starling Lyons
and Keith Mallett
“Before you were born, a girl learned a song.” She sang that song, written by her principal and his brother, as part of a chorus of 500 at a special event in 1900: “Lift ev’ry voice and sing, / Till earth and heaven ring, / Ring with the harmonies of Liberty …” She grew up and taught it to her own child. He passed it on to his daughter, who taught it to her son, who sang it to his daughter, who joins a chorus on the National Mall in 2016 to sing it at the opening of the National Museum of African American History. The fictional generations of one family finding solace and inspiration in “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” across personal milestones and historic events in the 20th century and early 21 st century ground this deeply moving account of the song known as the “Black National Anthem,” passed down among generations of African Americans. An author’s note tells more about the song, including personal memories, and its writers— James Weldon Johnson and J. Rosamond Johnson. (Ages 6–9)
CCBC Choices 2020. © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020. Used with permission.
Just in time for the 120th anniversary of the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing"--this stirring book celebrates the Black National Anthem and how it inspired five generations of a family.
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.
In 1900, in Jacksonville, Florida, two brothers, one of them the principal of a segregated, all-black school, wrote the song "Lift Every Voice and Sing" so his students could sing it for a tribute to Abraham Lincoln's birthday. From that moment on, the song has provided inspiration and solace for generations of Black families. Mothers and fathers passed it on to their children who sang it to their children and grandchildren. It has been sung during major moments of the Civil Rights Movement and at family gatherings and college graduations.
Inspired by this song's enduring significance, Kelly Starling Lyons and Keith Mallett tell a story about the generations of families who gained hope and strength from the song's inspiring words.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.