Vanessa Williams Called Out Over Divisive 'Black National Anthem' on PBS' 4th of July Program

The former Miss America winner's pre-recorded performance for the network's annual Capitol Fourth program sparks backlash as she decides to sing 'Lift Every Voice and Sing', which is deemed un-American.

AceShowbiz - Vanessa Williams has divided Americans with her choice of song for PBS' 4th of July coverage. Following the announcement of her decision to sing "Lift Every Voice and Sing" on the network's annual Capitol Fourth program Sunday evening, the singer/actress has come under fire over the song which has served as the Black National Anthem.

In a statement, the former Miss America said that her performance is intended to celebrate the recognition of Juneteenth's establishment as a federal holiday in addition to honoring the nation's traditional Independence Day.

"It's in celebration of the wonderful opportunity that we now have to celebrate Juneteenth. So we are reflective of the times," Vanessa told the Associated Press. "We are reflective of the times and I'm happy to be part of a tremendous show that the producers are aware and willing to make the changes that have happened within the past year and a half."

However, many disagreed with critics seeing the move as divisive instead of uniting America together. One of the critics, Lavern Spicer, a Republican candidate in Florida's 24th district, tweeted, "Vanessa honey, a BLACK national anthem is something a Black African Country would have, not a country like America that exists for everyone."

Author Tim Young shared the sentiment, "Nothing will unite us more as a nation than separate but equal national anthems…" He added in a follow-up tweet, "This isn't unity… it's division." Former Weld County, Colorado deputy district attorney and Donald Trump lawyer, Jenna Ellis, insisted, "We are ONE Nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL."

"We're witnessing the unraveling of E pluribus unum in real time," former CIA officer Brian Dean Wright fumed, referencing the traditional motto of the United States, which is Latin for "Out of many, one." Dean Wright warned, "The consequences will be dire."

"I didn't get the memo, we have a new anthem? And what was wrong with our original one?" one Twitter user responded to the song choice. Another said, "What? I thought we were ALL Americans?! Now divided by color? What happened to one nation, under God, indivisible? Talk about dividing us…"

Vanessa's rendition of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" will not replace the U.S. national anthem, which will be sung by Grammy-award winner Renee Fleming. A Capitol Fourth will air on PBS from 8 P.M. to 9:30 P.M. EST. The 4th of July celebration program will also feature Jimmy Buffett, Gladys Knight and Train.

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