PBS divides opinion over Vanessa Williams singing the ‘Black National Anthem’ on July 4


PBS has divided opinion with its resolution to have Vanessa Williams sing the ‘Black National Anthem’ throughout its July 4 celebration, in a nod to Juneteenth being made a federal vacation. The singer and actress, who was the first black girl to be topped Miss America, will carry out the music ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’ whereas internet hosting PBS’s forty first ‘A Capitol Fourth’ annual celebration, which airs Sunday.

The music was first written as a poem in 1900 by NAACP chief James Weldon Johnson and has lengthy held the nickname as the ‘Black National Anthem.’ Williams mentioned her efficiency of the music will not solely honor the nation’s conventional Independence Day, but additionally the nation’s newly designated vacation. ‘It’s in celebration of the fantastic alternative that we now must rejoice Juneteenth. So we’re reflective of the occasions,’ she advised the Associated Press.

The music is just not changing the US National Anthem, with Grammy Award-winning singer Renée Fleming opening the present with a particular efficiency of the conventional tune. Several different singers and musicians may also be performing quite a lot of completely different tunes throughout the celebration together with Gladys Knight, Jimmy Buffet, Cynthia Erivo and Alan Jackson.