-From “Lift Every Voice and Sing”, the Negro National Anthem, by James Weldon Johnson.
We have come, over a way that with tears has been watered.
We have come, treading our path through the blood of the slaughtered,
Out from the gloomy past, till now we stand at last
Where the white gleam of our bright star is cast.
(Please click the images below to enlarge the slideshow).
The Queen of Sheba.
King Mansa Musa.
Queen Ann Nzingha.
King Shaka Zulu.
Africans on the American auction block.
Africans enslaved in America.
Abolishonist Harriet Tubman.
African Americans stand outside a church, 1899.
African Americans in politics after slavery.
Black Wall Street group photo.
The 4 girls killed in the Birmingham church bombing.
Ruby Bridges is protected at school by the National Guard.
Rosa Parks is finger printed and jailed.
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. leads the March On Washington
A Black Lives Matter demonstration.
Barack Obama is sword in as the 44th President of the United States; January, 2009.
OUR HISTORY is resplendent with examples of ancestral strength, unimaginable faith, and a powerful vision of a day. They are similar to the one in which we now live. This is where we, as a people, would be able to freely worship in a beautiful Cathedrals such as this.
Our forefathers and mothers; the unbearable pain they shouldered, the profound injustice they endured. They sacrificed their lives, their energy and great strength to overcome: and yet we are overcoming.
Now, we, as a people, must stand in unity, with the holy resolve to keep fighting, keep marching, and keep succeeding until we have indeed overcome.
We literally come from kings and queens: Mansa Musa, Nzingha, Shaka Zulu, the Queen of Sheba – royal stock who, when bowed and broken, possessed a resiliency and an impenetrable determination to move beyond the hardship, to reach beyond the injustice, and to push past the dark veil of hopelessness to the promise of better day.
We have overcome, yet we are overcoming – and that same thread runs within each of us. As a race, we must be resilient and dig deeper. We may bend, but we will not break!
We have overcome, yet we are overcoming – for we must know that our true greatness lies not only in our ability to withstand oppression and survive, but also in our ability to hope, to trust, and to put our future in the hands of our Eternal God. He is strong to save. He who knows every detail of our victorious future. And it is within Him that true greatness lies!
A grandfather leads his 2 grandsons through the streets of Harlem after Sunday service. Photo, Martine Barrat/In Our Own Image.
We have overcome, but yet we are overcoming – for we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the words of our testimony. Through the storm, through the strain, through hardship, through pain, we have overcome, and we yet, are overcoming.
In conclusion, let your words today be filled with life, hope, and strength. Share with someone the testimony of what you have been through, so that they will know that if you made it through, they can too!
We shall overcome
We shall overcome
We shall overcome some day.
Oh, deep in my heart
I do believe
We shall overcome someday.
Hear Dr. Judith McAllister and the West Angeles Mass Choir perform “We Shall Overcome” below:
“We Shall Overcome” – Lyrics derived from “I’ll Overcome Some Day”, Charles A. Tindley, 1900.
“Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the Negro National Anthem, by James Weldon Johnson, 1899; music by his brother John Rosamond Johnson.
Often referred to as “The First Lady of Praise and Worship,” Dr.Judith Christie McAllister is probably best known for her impact as one of the forerunners of the Praise and Worship movement in the African American Church. Having served as Worship Leader at the West Angeles Church of God in Christ under Presiding Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., as the church’s Executive Director of the Music and Worship Arts Department, and also as Minister of Music/President of COGIC’s International Music Department, she developed a style and approach to Praise & Worship earning her accolades from coast to coast. A wife, mother, author, prolific Bible teacher, prophetic psalmist and a Grammy Award nominee, Dr. McAlister is the CEO of three entities which enable her to mentor, train and empower the next generation in the ministry of music. Judah Music Group LLC, Inheritance of Judah Ministries and Never Ending Worship (N.E.W.) Enterprises LLC, provide the foundation for all of her workshops, seminars, ministry services and products.