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Lift Every Voice: A Celebration of Black Lives

Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us

Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us

The inspiring lyrics from “Lift Every Voice and Sing”—the hymn and prayer by James Weldon Johnson often referred to as the Black National Anthem—capture the uplifting spirit of this collection of interviews with 54 members of the oldest living generation of Black Americans. These individuals are well known and lesser known, both heroes and unsung heroes. Lift Every Voice (Hearst Home; April 26th, 2022) celebrates their accomplishments and extraordinary legacies through interviews and photographs.

In 2021, after a year of racial reckoning across the country, editors and producers at Hearst magazines, newspapers, and television stations set out to interview Black elders, American men and women age 75 and older whose stories of success are hard-won and meaningful. A team of Black journalists, including young reporters starting out in their careers, many from historically Black colleges and universities, chose the people they wanted to talk to, listen to, and learn from. The next generation of Black photographers captured beautiful portraits to honor these amazing advocates and activists; artists and performers; athletes and coaches; business, science and health pioneers; community leaders; and journalists and writers. Lift Every Voice is both a testament to the strength of their stories and a triumphant beginning for a new generation of journalists.

“When we lift every voice, we forge a deep and enduring connection to the past—and carve a tunnel of hope to a brighter future for us all,” Oprah Winfrey says in the foreword.

“This book, above all else, is a reminder of where we have been and the debt we owe to those who came before. These Americans have not passed the torch, but are clasping it with us, urging us to continue the work alongside them,” Nikole Hannah-Jones writes in the introduction.

Some of the featured individuals—civil rights activists, hometown heroes, celebrities, and many others—include:

  • André De Shields, 75: Actor, Director and Choreographer discusses the essential values and lessons his parents taught him
  • Clarice Freeman, 100: Educator and Community Leader in Houston, Texas speaks about how to live a long and fulfilling life
  • Faye Wattleton, 77: Reproductive Rights Activist and former president of Planned Parenthood recounts her experience as a nurse and midwife in the 1960’s
  • Fred Gray, 89: Civil Rights Lawyer who represented Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin, 82, also featured in the book, against disorderly conduct charges for their refusal to give up their bus seats to white passengers
  • Patti LaBelle, 77: Singer/Songwriter who shares her thoughts on aging and her career as an internationally celebrated powerhouse singer

Oprah-Winfrey-quote
About Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world through the power of media. As host and supervising producer of the top-rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show, she entertained, enlightened, and uplifted millions of viewers for 25 years. Oprah has also built the brand Oprah Daily, a multi-platform lifestyle venture with Hearst Magazines offering audiences the content and tools to make living their best lives a daily practice. Her accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired public figures today.

Nikole-Hannah-Jones-quote
About Nikole Hannah Jones

Nikole Hannah-Jones is a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter covering civil rights and racial injustice for The New York Times Magazine and creator of the landmark 1619 Project. Nikole is the inaugural Knight Chair in Race and Journalism at the Howard University School of Communications, where she also founded the Center for Journalism and Democracy. Nikole is a native Iowan, a child produced by the hopes of both the Great Migration and those who migrated from foreign shores. Now she is Bed-Stuy fly in Brooklyn.

About Hearst

Hearst is a leading global, diversified media, information and services company with more than 360 businesses. Its major interests include ownership in cable television networks such as A&E, HISTORY, Lifetime and ESPN; global financial services leader Fitch Group; Hearst Health, a group of medical information and services businesses; transportation assets including CAMP Systems International, a major provider of software-as-a-service solutions for managing maintenance of jets and helicopters; 33 television stations such as WCVB-TV in Boston and KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California, which reach a combined 19% of U.S. viewers; newspapers such as the Houston Chronicle, San Francisco Chronicle and Times Union (Albany, New York); and nearly 250 magazine editions around the world, including Cosmopolitan, ELLE, Men’s Health and Car and Driver, and digital services businesses such as iCrossing and KUBRA.

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