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 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.
During and after the American Civil Rights Movement, the song experienced a rebirth, and by the 1970s was often sung immediately after “The Star Spangled Banner” at public events and performances across the United States where the event had a significant African-American population.
In Maya Angelou’s 1969 autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the song is sung by the audience and students at Maya’s eighth grade graduation, after a white school official dashes the educational aspirations of her class
In 1990, singer Melba Moore released a modern rendition of the song, which she recorded along with others including R&B artists Anita Baker, Stephanie Mills, Dionne Warwick, Bobby Brown, Stevie Wonder, Jeffrey Osborne, and Howard Hewett; and gospel artists BeBe & CeCe Winans, Take 6, and The Clark Sisters. Partly because of the success of this recording, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” was entered into the Congressional Record by Del. Walter Fauntroy (D-DC), as the official African American National Hymn.
he Howard Gospel Choir of Howard University sings “Lift Every Voice and Sing” (The Black National Anthem) at Jerusalemskirken (Church of Jerusalem) in Copenhagen, Denmark [Europe] as a part of our Northern Scandinavian Tour in February 2010.