The festivities leading up to the NFL Super Bowl will include a performance of the black national anthem for the third year in a row. Even as the league had «Lift Every Voice and Sing» on the docket for weeks, the song’s inclusion sparked debate on social media.
Sheryl Lee Ralph, the star of the comedy series «Abbott Elementary,» will perform the song at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
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Country music star Chris Stapleton will sing the national anthem and R&B artist Babyface will sing «America the Beautiful.»
But it was the inclusion of «Lift Every Voice and Sing» that had NFL fans talking early Sunday.
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«Lift Every Voice and Sing» was played before Super Bowl LV and the draft in April 2021. Mary Mary sang it before last year’s Super Bowl between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals.
The NFL began playing the black national anthem in the 2020 season following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers. The incident started a wave of action against racial injustice in the US.
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«Lift Every Voice and Sing» is widely considered the black national anthem. The NAACP began promoting it as such in 1917.