“Lift Every Voice and Sing”
Hugh Taft-Morales remembers how conscious he was of racial identity the first time he was in a multiracial group singing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” nick-named “The Black National Anthem.” The song prompted most Black singers to tilt up their heads and sing loud and proud, while white singers – himself included – struggled to feign familiarity with the song. Through the history of this important song, Hugh will explore what we can draw from it today to help us make sense of racial identity, patriotism, and the role of white activism in the Black Lives Matter movement.
Hugh Taft-Morales serves as Leader of the Philadelphia Ethical Society and the Baltimore Ethical Society and is a member of the Ethical Action Committee of the American Ethical Union (AEU). Hugh taught philosophy and history for twenty-five years in Washington, D. C., after which he transitioned into Ethical Culture Leadership. In April of 2009 he graduated from the Humanist Institute and was certified as an Ethical Culture Leader by the AEU in 2010.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Taft-Morales graduated with a B.A. cum laude in American History from Yale University, 1979, and an M.A. in Philosophy from the University of Kent at Canterbury, England, 1986. He lives in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife, Maureen, a Specialist in Latin America for the Congressional Research Service. They have three wonderful adult children – Sean, Maya, and Justin. Hugh’s hobbies include yoga, singing, and playing guitar.