Some people were outraged that Vanessa Williams performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the song known as the Black National Anthem, for this year’s televised Capitol Fourth celebration on Sunday (July 4).
Critics, fuming at PBS’s holiday broadcast event, called it divisive and un-American, according to the New York Post.
Williams, the first Black woman to be crowned Miss America, said this year the organizers planned to recognize Juneteenth along with the traditional Independence Day celebration, she told the Associated Press on Thursday (July 1).
“It’s in celebration of the wonderful opportunity that we now have to celebrate Juneteenth. So we are reflective of the times,” she stated.
Juneteen, June 19, became a federal holiday in 2021. It recognizes the end of slavery in the United States. Some people refer to it as Black Independence Day.
Here are some reactions to Williams singing the Black National Anthem at the Capitol Fourth event.