Vanessa Williams Black National Anthem: Vanessa Williams’ July 4th “Lift Every Voice and sing Williams’ performance at the station’s annual Capital Fourth event on Sunday night is intended to acknowledge the establishment of Juneteenth as a federal holiday.
Vanessa Williams Black National Anthem Controversy
The first black female actress and singer to win the Miss America pageant told the Associated Press, “It’s time to celebrate this wonderful occasion that we now have to celebrate Gwyneth. So we’re reflecting on that time.
We are reflecting on the times and I am delighted to be a part of a phenomenal show that its makers are aware of and ready to make the most of the changes that have taken place in the past year and a half.” Her performance of “Raise Every Voice and Sing” wouldn’t replace the American national anthem, which Grammy Award winner Renee Fleming would sing — but it still left people deeply divided on social media.
Williams is serving as host this year, but this isn’t the first time she’s speaking out about the festival’s current social change. On last year’s show, Williams said that her musical choices expressed the anger that black women — especially mothers — feel.
She sang “Not Where I Am About,” a song by Stephen Sondheim from his musical “Sweeney Todd,” in an attempt to express what she felt as a mother to a black son. Williams said that the song “simply talks about the relationship you have with your child and how you want to protect him, which certainly reflects George Floyd and how everyone felt that pain.”