This year marks the 120th Anniversary of “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” known as the black national anthem and produced by native Jacksonville sons James Weldon Johnson and his brother Rosemond Johnson.
El Bethel Divine Holiness pastor Bishop Lorenzo Hall held a Black History Month program at the church with representatives from the 4th Judicial Circuit bench: Judge Erin Perry, Judge Bruce Anderson, Judge Maureen Horkan, and Judge Lester B. Bass attended the church program service to give thanks for African American contributions to American black history. The program was held in front of church members to expound on James Weldon Johnson brilliance as a poet, civil rights activist, author, songwriter, principal, lawyer, educator and diplomat. The audience engaged in sharing their interpretations of James Weldon Johnson’s life and the meaning of his impact on American society. Judge Bass remarked, “It is imperative that all Americans take advantage of the historical collections and archives in our public libraries and exhibits at The Ritz Museum to learn more about this amazing gift that Jacksonville has given to the world,” said Bass. Shown is El Bethel Divine Holiness pastor Bishop Lorenzo Hall and guests.