Every year I sang with the Hawaii Vocal Arts Ensemble HVAE we did a Black History concert at Chaminade. It was, hands down, my absolute favorite concert of the year. We didn’t have a large population of African Americans on the stage or in the audience. But that never stopped us. I remember standing with singers and audience members to sing this anthem. I’d look out at a population so much more diverse than where I currently live. For some it was a song they’d never heard. Others knew every word. Some years I saw tears. Every year I saw smiles and there was an energy when we joined our voices that made me proud to be a part of such an impactful concert and to share such a special moment in time.
I did not watch one commercial, any of the game, and none of the halftime show. I did go to YouTube and watch Sheryl Lee Ralph sing Lift Every Voice, also called the Black National Anthem.
Sheryl was regal, she was proud to be there. She was poised and that smile of hers as she raised her voice was something to behold.
She is an actress who sings. There are others who probably have more musical talent, certainly more experience as a professional singer. But none of those would have ever shone as brightly as Sheryl did yesterday evening.
For a little time this morning as I sat at my computer wearing a ratty red robe that needs to be replaced. I was transported back to the stained glass Chaminade Chapel where every voice was lifted in unity. I will admit to some tears this morning, but also thankfulness that whoever had the a large choice of singers to lend their talent to Super Bowl LVII picked someone who wasn’t controversial and someone who brought us all together for a brief time.