The NFL’s pre-Super Bowl festivities will include a rendition of the Black national anthem for the third consecutive year. Even as the league had “Lift Every Voice and Sing” on the docket for weeks, the inclusion of the song stirred debate on social media.
Sheryl Lee Ralph, the star of the comedy series “Abbott Elementary,” will perform the song at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
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Country music star Chris Stapleton will sing the national anthem and R&B artist Babyface will sing “America the Beautiful.”
But it was the inclusion of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” that had NFL fans talking early Sunday.
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“Lift Every Voice and Sing” was played before Super Bowl LV and the draft in April 2021. Mary Mary sang it ahead of last year’s Super Bowl between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.
The NFL started to play the Black national anthem in the 2020 season following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. The incident started a wave of actions against racial injustice across the U.S.
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“Lift Every Voice and Sing” is widely considered to be the Black national anthem. The NAACP began to promote it as such in 1917.