Denver singer opts for black national...

Denver singer opts for black national anthem lyrics over 'Star-...

There are 11 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Jul 4, 2008, titled Denver singer opts for black national anthem lyrics over 'Star-.... In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Singer Rene Marie poses in her Broomfield, Colo. home. Marie sang lyrics of List Ev'ry Voice and Sing to the tune of the national anthem prior to the annual state of the city address by the Denver mayor.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

Harry

Dorr, MI

#1 Jul 5, 2008
This Irish American absolutely applauds her. When will we wake up and realize that the confines of our cultural experience is a narrow view of America?
In about ninth grade I read Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." At the end of the profound American Classic there is a huge crisis made over black people singing this song at an eight-grade graduation. It's so profoundly moving when they do. And for me, as a kid in the south reading it, it opened my mind to the vast experience of so many of us who grew up in the peculiar American apartheid of Jim Crow laws.
Jim Crow, by the way, is a term that has been around for over a hundred years and comes from a racist song about a ridiculous stereotype of a Step-and-Fetchit character. Singing can be used to oppress and it can be used to empower. Being part of an empowering moment is not something you have to choose to feel insulted about. It's wonderfully American. You want liberty and justice for all? Then you might want to feel thrilled to get an experience of it.
Life Every Voice is in some hymnals. Including the Episcopal. Even if you disagree with what she did, you should use this opportunity to learn the hymn, or at least listen to it. Put yourselves in your brothers and sisters shoes and walk a mile. They will invite you to sing with them and always have. They have not always had the same invitation.

Since: Jun 08

United States

#3 Jul 5, 2008
If she felt that way about the anthem (and it sounds like it may be valid), she could have told the mayor and made a stand. It is tacky to pull a "switcheroonie" and the point she was trying to make was obscured. She comes off looking flakey and her point is lost.

Maybe she was not a big enough star to make this kind of stand. Perhaps the organizers would have just chosen someone else. If a higher caliber entertainer had tried this, maybe they would have been taken more seriously. This is probably a publicity stunt for her and have nothing to do with her political views.
linda

Brooklyn, NY

#5 Jul 5, 2008
what an incredibly selfish woman.

and, of course, she's too gutless to answer questions directly to the media. hey, rene marie, you wanted the attention -- girlfriend, you got it. deal with it.
Gary Rice

UK

#6 Jul 5, 2008
What a power and superbly executed performance! Combining the lyrics of the black nation anthem and the melody of the star spangled banner touched a chord with me. I do not see it as a protest, but rather a celebration of our often disjointed histories.

Sing on sister girl!
Ohnonotagain

Albuquerque, NM

#7 Jul 8, 2008
Anybody remember Rosanne Barr?
Judge Roy Bean

Denver, CO

#8 Jul 8, 2008
Harry is a homo

“Death to humans!”

Since: Jul 08

A long way from here...

#10 Jul 8, 2008
Harry wrote:
This Irish American absolutely applauds her. When will we wake up and realize that the confines of our cultural experience is a narrow view of America?
In about ninth grade I read Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings." At the end of the profound American Classic there is a huge crisis made over black people singing this song at an eight-grade graduation. It's so profoundly moving when they do. And for me, as a kid in the south reading it, it opened my mind to the vast experience of so many of us who grew up in the peculiar American apartheid of Jim Crow laws.
Jim Crow, by the way, is a term that has been around for over a hundred years and comes from a racist song about a ridiculous stereotype of a Step-and-Fetchit character. Singing can be used to oppress and it can be used to empower. Being part of an empowering moment is not something you have to choose to feel insulted about. It's wonderfully American. You want liberty and justice for all? Then you might want to feel thrilled to get an experience of it.
Life Every Voice is in some hymnals. Including the Episcopal. Even if you disagree with what she did, you should use this opportunity to learn the hymn, or at least listen to it. Put yourselves in your brothers and sisters shoes and walk a mile. They will invite you to sing with them and always have. They have not always had the same invitation.
Singing "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" is one thing, and there are definitely appropriate times and places to do that. However, when you are engaged to sing the US Anthem and instead sing the words to "Lift Ev'ry Voice and Sing" to the tune of the Anthem, it is incredibly unprofessional and, in my humble opinion, tacky. I certainly hope she was not paid for this, as that was most likely a violation of her contract for that event.

Please don't equate the casual singing of that song with what this woman did. They are nowhere near the same thing.

“Death to humans!”

Since: Jul 08

A long way from here...

#11 Jul 8, 2008
My mistake - she was not paid for the event to begin with.
Chitown Me

United States

#12 Jul 8, 2008
Well, I thought the African American community has been struggling all of these years to be accepted and viewed as an equal part of America, just as proud as the rest of us. Personally, this song strikes me as segregationist and a step backwards for civil equality. If you want to be equal, you have to ACT equal.
Tom

United States

#13 Jul 8, 2008
The black national anthem should be flushed down the toilet.
Nobama

Lombard, IL

#14 Jul 8, 2008
Her "switcheroonie" was calculated, offensive, deceitful, arrogant, thoughtless, and unprofessional. Everyone should be outraged that she chose this venue for her divisive political statement. I'm sure she knows of many occasions more appropriate for singing it. What a stupid, selfish bitch.

Is this what we have to look forward to as "payback" or black "in-your-face" in an Obama administration? Maybe the White House will be renamed, i.e., the "rainbow" house, or the peoples' house. Maybe the flag will be re-designed. Maybe the pledge of allegiance will be reworded to something the black community likes better.

Don't forget how the black community rose up in defiance against whites for criticism of Rev. Wright. They were going to "show whitey."

And do you really think Obama doesn't owe Wright, Farrakhan, Jackson, Stroger, Jones, and every other black powerbroker that has supported him in his meteoric rise?

Obama as uniter? Obama as healer? Are you kidding? That's not what the black community has in mind.

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