A public symposium taking a critical view of 2016 through a controversial song that announced a cultural turn toward a Trump presidency: “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Featured guests will include NFL quarterback and activist Colin Kaepernick, whose refusal to stand during the playing of the national anthem caused a national firestorm of debate, as well as Rene Marie, a jazz vocalist whose 2008 performance of the anthem in advance of the Democratic National Convention combined the tune of “The Star-Spangled Banner” with the lyrics of the Negro National Anthem “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” Events will include a scholarly symposium on how the national anthem has been involved historically in controversy and protest, a short concert including a recreation by UCLA performers and Rene Marie of her remix of the anthem, and a public symposium in a discussion of recent controversies. This program will offer the UCLA community an opportunity to think rigorously about symbol politics and nationalism and provide information with which they can protect themselves in an increasingly precarious democracy.



Affiliated Faculty

Raymond Knapp, Professor, Director of the UCLA Center for Musical Humanities; Shana Redmond, Associate Professor, Musicology and African American Studies; Robin D.G. Kelley, Professor, African American Studies and History



Affiliated Departments



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