KC experts explore foundations of black spiritual history

“God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, Thou who hast 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.”

Thus begins the last stanza of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which has become known as “The Black National Anthem.”

The lyrics, penned by James Weldon Johnson, were first recited as part of a Lincoln birthday celebration in February 1900. Later set to music, the anthem expresses the faith and hope of black people in America.

As the country celebrates Black History Month, three area scholars discuss what all Americans should know about black spiritual history.Read this story on