Grammy award-winning singer Jill Scott changed the lyrics to the “Star Spangled Banner” to criticize the United States during a recent performance at Essence Fest. The move sparked backlash on social media.
Scott changed the lyrics of the beloved National Anthem from “O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light / What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,” to “Oh, say can you see, by the blood in the streets / That this place doesn’t smile on you, colored child.”
“Whose blood built this land with sweat and their hands,” the lyrics continued. “But we’ll die in this place and your memory erased / Oh, say, does this truth hold any weight / This is not the land of the free but the home of the slaves.”
Video of Scott’s performance was widely circulated on Twitter, where many users slammed the new “woke” lyrics.
“The safest, most opportunity-rich place on the planet for black people is the United States of America,” tweeted podcaster Jason Whitlock. “From the three Marxist lesbians who started BLM to Jill Scott, the black matriarchy keeps writing bad checks. Turned bitching and grifting into an art form.”
“This is how horrible this country has been to this ‘colored child’ slave,” YouTuber Mike Harlow tweeted, along with an image showing Scott’s net worth at $12 million.
Florida congressional candidate Lavern Spicer also criticized Scott’s “woke” version of the National Anthem.
“R&B singer Jill Scott (@missjillscott) did a WOKE rendition of the National Anthem where she changed the lyrics to speak about how oppressed Black people are,” Spicer wrote. “She says ‘This is not the land of the free, but the home of the slave…’ For reference, Jill Scott’s net worth is estimated to be $12 MILLION and is likely much higher. In what way is she oppressed?”
Others praised Scott’s controversial song, including Essence, a black women’s lifestyle magazine.
“Everyone please rise for the only National Anthem we will be recognizing from this day forward. Jill Scott, we thank you! #ESSENCEFest,” the company tweeted.