Watch & Listen

“Lift Every Voice” Launch Event

September 25, 2020
LISTEN →

NEW YORK, September 17, 2020 — Library of America and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture present the launch of Lift Every Voice, a nationwide celebration of the 250-year-long African American poetic tradition.

Poet and Schomburg Center Director Kevin Young introduces the evening-length webcast that features readings and discussions by Jericho Brown, Delana R. A. Dameron, Toi Derricotte, Joanne V. Gabbin, Tyehimba Jess, Patricia Spears Jones, jessica Care moore, Sonia Sanchez, Danez Smith, and Afaa Michael Weaver. Poetry readings by Phylicia Rashad, Elizabeth Alexander, and Mahershala Ali suggest some of the riches contained in the African American Poetry anthology that Young edited for Library of America, and saxophonist Kamasi Washington provides his own take on "Lift Every Voice and Sing," the James Weldon Johnson hymn that gives the project its name.