Written in 1900, Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing has often been called the black national anthem. Nearly 120 years later, Grammy-nominated musician Aloe Blacc teamed with producer DJ Kahlil and the Washington, D.C.-based trio The String Queens to reimagine the song. Blacc performed his modern rendition on the grounds of Monticello for a video released in February by ESPN website The Undefeated in honor of Black History Month.
The video’s producer, Sharon Matthews, explained that Monticello was chosen as the ﬁlming location for its symbolic place in the story of the African American experience.
“The folks at Monticello were fantastic,” Matthews told ESPN’s Front Row website. “They are historians — and that was what made this experience so amazing for me. You were standing on historic ground. ... I think why I was so touched by the place was because of the shoulders we stood on.”