Editor in Chief of Yahoo Music, Lyndsey Parker, published an opinion piece on June 24, 2020, that has made some really big waves.
In the article, she discusses the beloved National Anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner".
Anything considered racially insensitive has been on the chopping block following the death of George Floyd. We have seen the end of Aunt Jemima, Mrs. Butterworths, and Uncle Bens along with a rebrand for Cream of Wheat as we get rid of racist packaging and move forward. This past week , Liana Morales, an Afro-Latina, was honored to be chosen to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” But after George Floyd’s killing, she instead asked to perform “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” a hymn widely known as the black national anthem.
"The Star-Spangled Banner" was recognized for official use by the United States Navy in 1889, and by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916, and was made the national anthem by a congressional resolution on March 3, 1931, which was signed by President Herbert Hoover.
The conversation-starting article that asks " Why it might be time to finally replace 'The Star-Spangled Banner ' with a new national anthem" has gained a lot of traction since being published.
Historian Daniel E. Walker and activist and journalist Kevin Powell are both quoted in the article and agree that yes, it might be time.
Francis Scott Key, the lawyer, author, and amateur poet who is best known for writing the lyrics of the anthem owned slaves. As District Attorney, he suppressed abolitionists and did not support an immediate end to slavery.
In the article, Powell goes on to suggest that John Lennon's Imagine could be a good replacement. He calls it the 'most beautiful, unifying, all-people, all-backgrounds-together kind of song you could have'.