The Daily Grind Video
Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey attending the 1998 MTV Video Music Awards in Hollywood, Ca.

Source: Vinnie Zuffante / Getty

There’s been lots of controversy surrounding the National Anthem over the years. Some sing along when it’s performed at games. Others sit in their seats, scrolling on their phone while the rockets red glare burst in the air. Then there are folks who strictly only sing the Black National Anthem at anytime, in any place.

Before we all became woke and appreciative of the James Weldon Johnson hymn, we were forced to learn Star Spangled Banner. But the blatantly racist lyrics in America’s National Anthem has always made the song a big red, white and blue elephant in the room. Hence the reason why Colin Kaepernick is still out of a job and why Jay-Z caught some much flack for his work with the NFL, initially.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.” – Kaepernick

The third verse of the anthem, which no one knows, boasts the most racist line in the entire song.

The third stanza of the anthem, which is rarely sung and few know, contains the words, “No refuge could save the hireling and slave, From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:”, which some interpret as racist. – Wikipedia 

However, just like most things in life, Black folks have found a way to turn lemons into lemonade. Because nobody — and I  do mean nobody — can sing the national anthem like our Black artists. Black women singers to be exact. Take a look at some of the women who bodied the song below. And, if you missed Jazmine Sullivan’s National Anthem performance with Eric Church this past weekend, check that out here. Needless to say, Black Twitter was not happy about Jazmine having to share her moment.

Whitney Houston


Mariah Carey

Jennifer Hudson



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