National Museum of African American History and Culture
LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING (Song also known as "the Black American National Anthem") Lift every 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. ~~ James Weldon Johnson, 1899 (lyrics) ~~ John Rosamond Johnson, 1900 (music) www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya7Bn7kPkLo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGqx4asAJqshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngFDy52eCZY
A few of those mentioned above:
Frederick Douglass, c. 1874
Louis Armstrong, 1953
Maya Angelou at Clinton inauguration, 1/20/1993
Mahalia Jackson, 1962
James Baldwin, 1969
Henry Louis Gates Jr. with Peabody Award, 2014
Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 2007
Langston Hughes, 1936
Martin Luther King Jr., 1964
Death be not proud. Out of slavery's ashes, THIS magnificent and vibrant LIFE.
Soul song. Leaves so beautiful before the fall. Must they fall? Why? Can we stop them? How? Will they grow back in a new beginning? When? Life that implies death. Death that implies transformation (fertile soil and nourishing water that lead to new spring growth). Deciding to embrace it all – and one’s Self – rather than run from it. Endings…and plans that often fail to soothe. Letting go is hardly clean and peaceful.
The beauty of the season and the pain of loss are almost indistinguishable. This is one reason why autumn so deeply affects us. Few people can understand and tolerate the simultaneous rise of emotional opposites. Joy of life / sadness of death all flowing together — nature’s joy and beauty — bursting with joy till we burst into tears of grief.
Words matter. We speak of “bursting” in each of these two cases. The word is identical for both, expressing strong, opposing feelings. All at the same time. Our language allows us this additional insight, a perfect expression of dueling mental forces. It is so. It is not gentle on the soul.
Nature ever invites and reminds us to reach deeply Inside, to understand it and ourselves in it, to grow. Self-awareness. What counts is the courage to continue. We are all part of nature.
In every meeting is also a parting. In every joy is also a sorrow. In every love also a loss.
If we miss the duality and complexity of emotions, we miss what it means to live life fully and to heal effectively. Life is profoundly multi-dimensional…if only we make the effort to look and to see.
The plan for a new beginning is already in the ending. Death without really leaving. Fallen leaves fertilize the soil that promises spring growth. Memories of the lost loved one fertilize the transformation to a growing, expanding, enduring relationship.
Every beginning implies an ending — just as every ending implies a transformation and a new beginning. It is a paradoxical truth. The essence of hope lies here, the desire and active search for a future good, a waking dream to attend.
This is the strength and growth of the Autumn Survivor…
“You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. Some windows are lighted, but mostly they're darked. But mostly they're darked. A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin! Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in? How much can you lose? How much can you win?” ― Theodor S. Geisel