Today at church... we began with the African-American National Anthem, and drumming, and no small bit of whooping and hollering at the line "let us march on 'til victory is won."
[what is victory? The question was asked also by the choir director who sang a passionate solo to the theme of "the Cross is my Statue of Liberty" which got the presidential seat off its pedestal]
We ended in a circle singing "We shall overcome" like it has been done in the past. Today we have some octogenarian african-american grandmothers, and some small mixed-race children with funny names, and more Asian folk than previously, and enough of us white people. When we sang the verse "black and white together" it didn't quite encompass us all in our various shades, but that's okay.
lift ev'ry voice and sing
'til earth and heaven ring
ring with the harmony of liberty
let our rejoicing rise
high as the list'ning skies
let it resound loud as the rolling sea
this is my favorite verse:
God of our weary years
God of our silent tears
Thou who hast brought us thus far on the way
Thou who has 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!