As the nation recognizes Black Music Month, an annual celebration of Black Music and its creators, celebrated in June, there is one song that embodies the culture and heritage of African-American struggle and hope in America. That song, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," more commonly known as The Black National Anthem, is a mainstay during Black History Month and rallies and protests calling for an end to racial injustice.
Brandon Camphor & OneWay (BC1Way), a dynamic young vocal quartet (made up of Brandon Camphor, Julia McMillan, Angela Jones, and Fred Cleveland), are insuring with their new rendition that "Lift Every Voice and Sing" is on every playlist for Black Music Month as well. The inspirational vocal group has released an acapella rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing," that reintroduces the song to new generations.
"'Lift Every Voice and Sing' has been covered by so many amazing voices and we thought it was appropriate to share our version during Black Music Month. Just as you can't start a game without singing 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' we cannot kick off Black Music Month without 'Lift Every Voice and Sing,'" shares Brandon Camphor, musical director and founder of BC1Way. "It is the epitome of Black Music!"
"Lift Every Voice and Sing," also known as The Black National Anthem, was originally a poem written in 1900 by educator and civil rights activist James Weldon Johnson. The poem became a song nearly five years later when John Rosamond Johnson (James' brother) put the words to music. In 1919, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) adopted and labeled the song as The Negro National Anthem.
"'Lift Every Voice and Sing' is more than a song sung at civil rights rallies and protests. This song also resonates with hope. It is a prayer of thanks to God for his faithfulness and our freedom," expresses Camphor for BC1Way. "We hope that our acapella rendition puts the focus completely on the lyrics, so newer generations and people who are not African-American can focus on the power of stanzas written over a century ago which still have meaning!"
Rising names in inspirational music, BC1Way has celebrated four Top 30 Hits on Billboard's Gospel Airplay Chart including "His Name," "I Choose You," "You Are God," and their most recent single, "God Of Mercy." They are putting the finishing touches on their sophomore album, Hope Is Alive, tentatively scheduled for a late summer release.
Listen to BC1Way's rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" here.