Calls for ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ to be Replaced With a New US National AnthemBreaking News
tags: slavery, Francis Scott Key, national anthem
After weeks that have seen mass protests about police brutality, the toppling of monuments, and calls for racial justice, some figures are now pointing to the US’s national anthem. As calls for change continue as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, the troubling history and slavery links of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ are being brought up for discussion and debate.
One American student recently refused to sing it at her virtual graduation ceremony, instead performing ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing’, often referred to as the ‘Black national anthem’. Four years ago, San Francisco 49’ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick famously refused to stand during the playing of the national anthem. President Obama supported Kaepernick’s right to protest, saying it was his ‘constitutional right’ to stay seated.
An article by Yahoo Music’s Editor in Chief, Lyndsey Parker, asks if it’s time to adopt an anthem with a “more inclusive message”. Speaking to Parker, historian and scholar Daniel E. Walker agrees. He says: “The 53-year-old in me says, we can’t change things that have existed forever. But then there are these young people who say that America needs to live up to its real creed.
“And so, I do side with the people who say that we should rethink this as the national anthem, because this is about the deep-seated legacy of slavery and white supremacy in America, where we do things over and over and over again that are a slap in the face of people of colour and women. We do it first because we knew what we were doing, and we wanted to be sexist and racist. And now we do it under the guise of ’legacy.’”
Here’s what we know about ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’…