The town of Manchester must remove The Star-Spangled Banner from
public sporting events.
The American National Anthem was written by Francis Scott Key, a slave owner and avid defender of chattel slavery. Key’s political legacy includes fervently upholding the institution of slavery and prosecuting early abolitionists who started the anti-slavery movement. His creation of The Star Spangled Banner, written at a time when America was not land of the free, cannot be separated from his racist history.
We suggest that instead of performing The Star Spangled Banner, the Manchester High School Roundtable Singers write and compose a song that can be performed at public sporting events in a way that exemplifies MPS Pride and Manchester’s commitment to justice.
In addition, we demand that Lift Every Voice and Sing, the Black National Anthem, be taught in all elementary school music classes. First written as a poem by NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson, Lift Every Voice and Sing is a song that honors the African American struggle for freedom and celebrates their centrality to our national identity. It should be a mandatory requirement within the music education departments in Manchester.