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African American performed ‘Black National Anthem’ instead of ‘Star Spangled Banner’


CofCC.org News Team…

At the start of the event Tuesday morning, City Council President Michael Hancock introduced singer Rene Marie to perform the national anthem. Instead, she performed the song “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” which is also known as the “black national anthem.”

When she finished, the audience responded with mild applause. The national anthem was never performed. Governor Bill Ritter (D-Colorado) discussed the incident on The Mike Rosen Show on 850 KOA on Wednesday morning, calling it “inappropriate.”

Marie told 9NEWS she kept her plans to switch songs quiet until the very last moment. She says only she, her husband and a friend knew she was going to sing something other than the “Star-Spangled Banner.” “When I decided to sing my version, what was going on in my head was: ‘I want to express how I feel about living in the United States, as a black woman, as a black person,'” said Marie.

In hindsight, both Brown and Hickenlooper say they should have stopped Marie or began singing themselves. Marie says if she had the benefit of doing it over, she would sing the same song. When asked if she would apologize for what happened she said, “No I do not.”

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