Rep. Lauren Boebert raged against historic performance of 'Black national anthem' at the Super Bowl

A two-part collage showing Sheryl Lee Ralph performing "Lift Every Voice and Sing" at the Superbowl on February 12, 2023 (L), and a headshot of an unsmiling Rep. Lauren Boebert in June 2022 against an orange background.
Rep. Lauren Boebert appeared to object to Sheryl Lee Ralph's performance of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" at the Super Bowl on Sunday.NFL / Evelyn Hockstein / Reuters / Insider
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  • The actor Sheryl Lee Ralph performed "Lift Every Voice and Sing" at the Super Bowl on Sunday.

  • The hymn, known as the Black national anthem, was sung alongside "The Star-Spangled Banner."

  • Rep. Lauren Boebert didn't approve, suggesting the hymn is divisive.

Rep. Lauren Boebert railed against "wokeness" after a song known as the Black national anthem was performed live and on the field at the Super Bowl on Sunday for the first time.

The far-right Colorado lawmaker said in a tweet that appeared to refer to the actor Sheryl Lee Ralph's performance of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" that the NFL was trying to "divide" the country.

"America only has ONE NATIONAL ANTHEM," she wrote. "Why is the NFL trying to divide us by playing multiple!? Do football, not wokeness."

"Lift Every Voice and Sing" was written as a poem by the NAACP leader James Weldon Johnson in 1900 and used as a rallying cry for Black Americans during the civil-rights movement.

Its lyrics call for strength, unity, and faith in God following the abolition of slavery.

Though the song has been incorporated into Super Bowl celebrations since 2021, Ralph's performance on Sunday was the first live on-field performance of the song at the event.

It came ahead of Chris Stapleton's rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Following her performance, Ralph posted a video on Twitter thanking people who sang along and emphasizing the song's call for unity "at a time when we all need to come together."

"I'm feeling so good," she said.

Explaining the song's history and meaning, Ralph added: "I thank everybody for understanding it. Some never will, but some always will get it. God bless us all in unity."

Ralph had earlier said at a press conference that the NFL's decision to include the performance signaled a move "to represent all people," according to Vulture.

Ahead of the performance, Ralph told Insider's Kirsten Acuna that she had been listening to the song repeatedly in preparation.

Boebert wasn't the only one who appeared to take offense. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia also complained, contrasting what she called "wokeness" with Chris Stapleton's performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

In 2022, a proposal to make "Lift Every Voice and Sing" the national hymn — as a parallel to the national anthem — was rejected by both Greene and Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida.

"I am not a racist!" Greene said on Gaetz's podcast at the time, Raw Story reported. But she added that she thought the move would "erode the meaning and significance of our national anthem."

Read the original article on Insider