Vanessa Williams and PBS slammed for ‘Black national anthem’ performance

(CNN)There was backlash over Vanessa Williams performing for Independence Day before it even happened.
Williams hosted PBS’ “A Capitol Fourth” on Sunday, and it had been announced that she would sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” which has become known as the “Black national anthem.”
In the promotion leading up to the show, Williams talked about including the song.
“It’s in celebration of the wonderful opportunity that we now have to celebrate Juneteenth,” USA Today reported the former Miss America saying. “So we are reflective of the times.”
Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of African American slaves and was declared a federal holiday in the US this year.
Conservative Twitter jumped on the “national anthem” part and declared it “divisive,” “segregation” and “racist” to have any anthem other than “The Star-Spangled Banner,” which was scheduled to be performed by Grammy-award winner Renée Fleming.
Still, others supported Williams and chalked the whole thing up to social media doing what it does best — outrage.

WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 03: Multi-platinum recording artist and star of television, film and the Broadway stage Vanessa Williams performs for “A Capitol Fourth,” live from Washington, DC, airing Sunday on PBS July 04, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images for Capital Concerts)

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