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  #1  
July 2nd, 2008, 11:04 AM
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BLACK NATIONAL ANTHEM
Video: Singer Talks About Why She Sang Anthem
Raw Video: Black National Anthem Sung
Survey: Think It Was Inappropriate?



'Black National Anthem' At State Of City Stirs Heated Debate
Broomfield Singer Says She Chose Song

POSTED: 3:26 pm MDT July 1, 2008
UPDATED: 6:25 am MDT July 2, 2008


DENVER -- One of the most notable incidents from Tuesday's State of the City address occurred even before the mayor's speech began.

After the Pledge of Allegiance, Rene Marie was introduced to sing the national anthem.

But that's not what she sang.

Marie actually sang the tune of the traditional national anthem with the lyrics to "Lift Every Voice and Sing." It's a song some have called the National Black Anthem, the Negro National Anthem or the Black National Anthem.

"I wanted to express how I felt about living in this country as a black woman," said Rene Marie.

Once she finished performing, there was a moment of awkward silence and then the crowd gave her mild applause. Marie said she understood why the audience was confused, since the song sounded familiar but the lyrics were different.

"Art is supposed to make you think. I wanted to express how I felt, being a black woman living in this country," Marie told 7NEWS.

The Denver Mayor's Office said it wasn't aware that Marie was planning to sing that version of the song.

"We were as surprised as anyone that jazz singer René Marie did not sing our national anthem at today's State of the City ceremony, as our staff had requested," Mayor John Hickenlooper said in prepared statement.

"As I listened to her sing, I assumed she would eventually move into the traditional Star Spangled Banner. I called her personally this afternoon to understand what happened. She explained her song was an artistic expression of her love for her country. She said she meant no disrespect of any kind and that her song was in no way intended to be a political statement. She apologized for any problems she may have created," Hickenlooper said. "I'm disappointed that this matter has been a distraction from the great work and significant accomplishments of our city employees over the past year and the many important initiatives on tap for the coming year.

SURVEY
Do you think it was inappropriate for a singer to sing the Black National Anthem during a state of the city address?
Yes
No

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The Broomfield singer said only three people at the State of the City speech knew she would sing the lyrics to the Black National Anthem -- her husband, her mentor and herself. It was not a song requested by the city, but a song she had deliberately chosen to perform in light of what was happening in the country, and what was happening in Denver in August -- when Sen. Barack Obama will become the first African-American to accept the nomination to become a major party candidate for president.

"An artist does not ask permission to express themselves artistically," said Marie. "You just do it and then you deal with it."

"There is a place and a time for that," said Jon Caldera, President of the Independence Institute. "When you are asked to sing the national anthem at a state of state address, or state of city address or any other political function, I would expect that person to put their country first and their personal politics second."

The first verse of the anthem, according to Black-Network.com:

Lift every voice and sing,
Till earth and heaven ring.
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise,
High as the lightning skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun,
Let us march on till victory is won.

The National Black Anthem song was originally written in 1899 by by James Weldon Johnson for a presentation in celebration of the birthday of Abraham Lincoln, according to AfricanAmericans.com
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  #2  
July 2nd, 2008, 11:16 AM
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I wouldn't care if it was the "white national anthem" or the hispanic version of the national anthem. She was there to sing the NATIONAL anthem, not share her artistic version, so I think it was innappropriate.
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  #3  
July 2nd, 2008, 11:20 AM
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Right now the poll here is 81% feel she was wrong 39% feel she was not.

I agree she was hired to sing and introduced as singing the National Anthem thats what she should have sung
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  #4  
July 2nd, 2008, 11:45 AM
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Inappropriate. Now, if they had just asked her to make an appearance and sing, then no problem. But, they asked her to appear and sing the National Anthem. That's what she should have done.
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  #5  
July 2nd, 2008, 12:05 PM
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She was asked to sing a specific song, it was not the time or place to put her personal views into it.
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  #6  
July 2nd, 2008, 12:31 PM
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I agree with everyone else. It was innappropiate.
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  #7  
July 2nd, 2008, 02:30 PM
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She wasn't asked to express her artistic opinion. She was asked to sing the National Anthem. Completely inappropriate. How was she NOT trying to make a political statement?
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  #8  
July 2nd, 2008, 04:40 PM
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I agree with all the PPs. Inappropriate.
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  #9  
July 2nd, 2008, 04:58 PM
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I agree, it's not the content of what she sang, it's the fact that she was asked to perform a particular piece and without approval, changed it.

Quote:
Right now the poll here is 81% feel she was wrong 39% feel she was not.

I agree she was hired to sing and introduced as singing the National Anthem thats what she should have sung[/b]
Ok, this sounds nitpicky but ... that can't be right! 81 % and 19% maybe??
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  #10  
July 2nd, 2008, 05:16 PM
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COMPLETELY inappropriate.

They didn't ask her to express her opinion - they asked her to sing the National Anthem.


This is a little off topic, but honestly, if people keep doing things like that that set them apart as a specific group of people (i.e. black, latin, middle eastern, etc...) there will never be equality in this country or world. Only when people start acting like people, not black people, not latin people, not middle eastern people... will there be a chance at equality. Just my opinion.


Lisa
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  #11  
July 2nd, 2008, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
COMPLETELY inappropriate.

They didn't ask her to express her opinion - they asked her to sing the National Anthem.


This is a little off topic, but honestly, if people keep doing things like that that set them apart as a specific group of people (i.e. black, latin, middle eastern, etc...) there will never be equality in this country or world. Only when people start acting like people, not black people, not latin people, not middle eastern people... will there be a chance at equality. Just my opinion.


Lisa[/b]
I understand what you're getting at, and I appreciate the intent, but the way you've said it is actually a bit offensive. When you say "only when people start acting like people, not black people, not latin peole, not middle eastern people" ..... which kind of people should they "start acting like" ... white north americans?

Equality is not "all people acting the same" and no one being different so that no one offends anyone else. I don't want everyone in the world "not acting like" their individual culture or religion ... equality is when we don't equate "different" with "wrong".
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  #12  
July 2nd, 2008, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Quote:
COMPLETELY inappropriate.

They didn't ask her to express her opinion - they asked her to sing the National Anthem.


This is a little off topic, but honestly, if people keep doing things like that that set them apart as a specific group of people (i.e. black, latin, middle eastern, etc...) there will never be equality in this country or world. Only when people start acting like people, not black people, not latin people, not middle eastern people... will there be a chance at equality. Just my opinion.


Lisa[/b]
I understand what you're getting at, and I appreciate the intent, but the way you've said it is actually a bit offensive. When you say "only when people start acting like people, not black people, not latin peole, not middle eastern people" ..... which kind of people should they "start acting like" ... white north americans?

Equality is not "all people acting the same" and no one being different so that no one offends anyone else. I don't want everyone in the world "not acting like" their individual culture or religion ... equality is when we don't equate "different" with "wrong".
[/b]



I see your point... I probably should have explained that better.

What I meant was that people should act like what they are - humans. Not saying - "I'm black," or "I'm white," or any specific origin - just simply "I'm human." I myself am Japanese (though looking at my kids you wouldn't think they have a bit of Asian blood in them!) but I don't introduce myself as Japanese, I say "I'm Lisa." I guess my idea is that if people stop deliberately trying to set themselves apart, then others will follow.

Quote:
Equality is not "all people acting the same" and no one being different so that no one offends anyone else. I don't want everyone in the world "not acting like" their individual culture or religion ... equality is when we don't equate "different" with "wrong".[/b]
I totally understand what you're saying. I'm not saying that being any particular race is "wrong," I don't think that everyone should act "white" or "black" or anything... I don't really have any ideal that people should be other than human. I do agree that people should be proud of their heritage, and origin IS something that defines us. I just think that it shouldn't be the ONLY thing that defines us.

Hopefully I explained that better - I didn't mean to offend anyone!


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  #13  
July 2nd, 2008, 06:47 PM
Just Nana's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
I agree, it's not the content of what she sang, it's the fact that she was asked to perform a particular piece and without approval, changed it.

Quote:
Right now the poll here is 81% feel she was wrong 39% feel she was not.

I agree she was hired to sing and introduced as singing the National Anthem thats what she should have sung[/b]
Ok, this sounds nitpicky but ... that can't be right! 81 % and 19% maybe??
[/b]
Opps sorry bout that the poll is now at 80 she was wrong 20 she was right. The latest article said she was not paid to sing its kinda like an honor to be asked. I still believe even if she did it for free she did not sing the song she was asked to sing
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  #14  
July 2nd, 2008, 07:27 PM
whatever
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I just watched this on another site. She should have sang the National Anthem.
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  #15  
July 2nd, 2008, 07:41 PM
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Lisa: Yep, that makes sense ... I definitely read it in a different context, thanks for clarifying!!

This line actually sums up exactly how I feel, but I didn't say it clearly in my post either:
Quote:
I do agree that people should be proud of their heritage, and origin IS something that defines us. I just think that it shouldn't be the ONLY thing that defines us.[/b]
And you're right, I'd never guess from your kids' pictures in your siggy that you are part Japanese! (And everyone assumed when I was growing up that I must have been Scandinavian ... but I was only a little Norwegian, with scottish, Irish, Native and Hawaiian thrown into the mix!!)

Ah, someday, someday, Band-Aid will finally be able to make just ONE colour and then maybe everyone will get along??
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  #16  
July 4th, 2008, 07:07 AM
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Two things -

First, I totally agree with what everyone has been saying. It was inappropriate.

Second, some of the discussion on this thread of posts reminded me of a discussion I had with my 10 year old niece and her 10 year old friend not long ago. My niece is white and her friend is black and they were talking about Miss America pageants. My niece's friend was saying that she was glad to be black because if she tried to compete in the Miss America competition and lost, she could then compete in the Black Miss America contest. She said, "Since I'm black, I get two chances to win!" My niece went into a little fit about how that was completely unfair. My niece said, "It doesn't make sense. Why can black girls and chinese girls and white girls and all girls be in the Miss America, but then black girls get their own competition and only black girls can be in it?" Now, this conversation between the two little girls wasn't earth shattering, but it was very interesting... and the whole conversation about "National Anthem" and the "Black National Anthem" reminded me of this...

I just think it's a shame that sometimes while showing pride in a person's own background can lead to excluding others. At a major event, like the one described in this debate, the anthem which EVERY American knows and should show respect to should have been sung... not the anthem which is meaningful for only one particular group of Americans.
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  #17  
July 4th, 2008, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Two things -

First, I totally agree with what everyone has been saying. It was inappropriate.

Second, some of the discussion on this thread of posts reminded me of a discussion I had with my 10 year old niece and her 10 year old friend not long ago. My niece is white and her friend is black and they were talking about Miss America pageants. My niece's friend was saying that she was glad to be black because if she tried to compete in the Miss America competition and lost, she could then compete in the Black Miss America contest. She said, "Since I'm black, I get two chances to win!" My niece went into a little fit about how that was completely unfair. My niece said, "It doesn't make sense. Why can black girls and chinese girls and white girls and all girls be in the Miss America, but then black girls get their own competition and only black girls can be in it?" Now, this conversation between the two little girls wasn't earth shattering, but it was very interesting... and the whole conversation about "National Anthem" and the "Black National Anthem" reminded me of this...

I just think it's a shame that sometimes while showing pride in a person's own background can lead to excluding others. At a major event, like the one described in this debate, the anthem which EVERY American knows and should show respect to should have been sung... not the anthem which is meaningful for only one particular group of Americans.[/b]
You need to go start a new debate with this topic! LOL.. I'd LOVE to see the outcome.
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  #18  
July 5th, 2008, 07:28 PM
LaLaRose3's Avatar My brand of heroin.
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Quote:
Quote:
Two things -

First, I totally agree with what everyone has been saying. It was inappropriate.

Second, some of the discussion on this thread of posts reminded me of a discussion I had with my 10 year old niece and her 10 year old friend not long ago. My niece is white and her friend is black and they were talking about Miss America pageants. My niece's friend was saying that she was glad to be black because if she tried to compete in the Miss America competition and lost, she could then compete in the Black Miss America contest. She said, "Since I'm black, I get two chances to win!" My niece went into a little fit about how that was completely unfair. My niece said, "It doesn't make sense. Why can black girls and chinese girls and white girls and all girls be in the Miss America, but then black girls get their own competition and only black girls can be in it?" Now, this conversation between the two little girls wasn't earth shattering, but it was very interesting... and the whole conversation about "National Anthem" and the "Black National Anthem" reminded me of this...

I just think it's a shame that sometimes while showing pride in a person's own background can lead to excluding others. At a major event, like the one described in this debate, the anthem which EVERY American knows and should show respect to should have been sung... not the anthem which is meaningful for only one particular group of Americans.[/b]
You need to go start a new debate with this topic! LOL.. I'd LOVE to see the outcome.
[/b]
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