For this Fourth of July, Vanessa Williams (the first Black woman to be crowned Miss America) faced backlash from conservatives after she performed “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” at the televised Capitol Fourth celebration. Critics were fuming at PBS’s holiday broadcast event. According to the New York Post, critics were calling it divisive and un-American.
Vanessa Williams spoke with the Associated Press, stating that this year the organizers planned to recognize Juneteenth along with the traditional Independence Day celebration. Williams stated; “It’s in celebration of the wonderful opportunity that we now have to celebrate Juneteenth. So we are reflective of the times.”
People took to Twitter to rant. Many seemed unaware that “Lift Every Voice And Sing” is over 100 years old.