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Big Reactions To Jully Black’s Lyric Swap In O Canada; “I Sang The Facts”

Before the game in Salt Lake City, Utah, Jully Black sang the national anthem. She changed one line to honor the Native Americans who lived on the land before Europeans came. 

Black changed the opening line of the national anthem from “O Canada, our home and native land” to “O Canada, our home on native land,” accenting the word “on” when she sang.

According to Jully Black, the modest adjustment she made to the words of O Canada during the NBA All-Star game on Sunday was the result of a long period of reflection.

“I sang the facts. We are walking, breathing, living, and experiencing life on native land. “On Indigenous land,” the Juno Award-winning R&B singer told The National on Monday.

Black became emotional as she recounted how a close friend, who is Indigenous, reacted to her lyrics.

“I didn’t know how much this would mean to him. But now I do. And to every person who has lived generationally through being Indigenous, and just want the world to know that their lived experience matters.”

Positive reactions

Isaiah Shafqat, a Mi’kmaw student and Indigenous student trustee with the Toronto District School Board, praised the change to the lyrics while talking to CBS News.

“It was exciting. It was a shock, because, you know, Indigenous people, we listen to O Canada and we always hear ‘home and native land.’ And that’s not true,” he told The National.

A number of people on Twitter commended Black’s performance, including rapper Chuck D, a member of U.S. hip-hop group Public Enemy:

“My girl @JullyBlack just kicked the most soulful O Canada I ever heard at 2023 #NBAAllStar game,” he tweeted.


But some people criticized Black’s revision, with one user on social media saying “The National Anthem of any country is supposed to bring all the peoples of that country together! I find it inharmonious that any celebrity would intentionally change a word to promote such divisiveness and push their political activism in a disrespectful way! Shameful behavior!”

This is hardly the first time the words in O Canada have been changed.

For instance, in 2018 a years-long effort to make the anthem more inclusive, led by late Liberal MP Mauril Bélanger, became official when the second line was rewritten to make it gender-neutral.

The new wording of the anthem’s English version became “in all of us command” from “in all thy sons command.”

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced on Wednesday, February 15, that three Nigerian superstars—Grammy® Award-winning singer, songwriter, and record producer Burna Boy, 2023 GRAMMY Award-winning singer and Oscar-nominated singer and producer Tems; and rapper and singer Rema—will headline the NBA All-Star Game 2023 halftime show with an Afrobeats-themed performance.  After the performance, the NBA family will honour LeBron James for becoming the league’s all-time scoring leader.

Source – Tru News Report


Digital Communication & Social Media Editor

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