I am no singer, but I love to make a joyful noise. It’s nothing for me to belt out a familiar tune in the shower, or to make up a song as I perform household chores. It’s not uncommon for my children and I to attempt harmonies while we are traveling from one place to another.
So yesterday, when the Negro National Anthem was playing in my ear at work, I couldn’t Help but sing along. I absolutely love this song. I alwAys have. The genius it takes to pen a melody is just beyond my reach. But to take said melody and write matching lyrics leaves me in awe every time.
And this song, particularly, takes a good singer from the depths of the blues, to the hopefulness of falsetto. It is beAutiful and challenging at the same time, which I think is the point of all art.
Anyway, i’m Loudly singing along to the second verse, when I realize that I’m at work…in a U.S government building, surrounded by people who probably don’t know the song. But that doesn’t stop me from singing.
“We have come over a path where the tears have been watered. ”
I realize my children don’t know this song either. We don’t sing it at church. There are no longer hymns in the pews for them to follow. I’m positive they don’t sing it at school. I guess I better show them this YouTube video when I get home.
“We have come treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered.“
The slaughter continues, but so does our progress. As long as people are marching and singing, and clanging the cymbals, we will get closer to freedom. We are raising the next generation of drum majors for justice. We will no longer be content with clinging to symbols of freedom. We won’t stop until we actually lay hold to justice.
So i’m Teaching my babies to sing,but also to fight. Because freedom will not come unless you can do a bit of both.