Tuesday, November 21, 2017
The Buzz
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  • From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

UF bell tower trolled Richard Spencer with black national anthem

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Inside the University of Florida Phillips Center, Richard Spencer was about to take the stage Thursday to spread his message of white supremacy. Outside, bells chimed a message of unity.

CNN reports that music professor Laura Ellis climbed 11 flights of stairs in the university's carillon tower to play Lift Every Voice and Sing, also known as the black national anthem.

"I think it was an appropriate time to play this song, to show our support for those who need it the most," Ellis told CNN.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Richard Spencer speaks, and Gainesville emerges weary but at peace

Lift Every Voice and Sing began as a poem written by James Weldon Johnson in 1900 at Jacksonville's all-black Stanton School to be part of a celebration for Abraham Lincoln's birthday.

Johnson, a civil rights activist, was also the school's principal. Johnson's brother, John Rosamond Johnson put the poem to music.

The song was later adopted by the NAACP as its official song in 1919. It became a staple during the civil rights movement and remains a musical tradition in social, political and religious events in the African-American community.

ALL EYES GALLERY: Some scuffles, but otherwise calm after Richard Spencer speech at UF

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