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"Best song ever written about nationhood and survival."

Anthems. They are the songs that help us find ourselves, forge identity and re/imagine ourselves free. The NFL protests put the spotlight on how racist and violent the official U.S. anthem is. Clearly, we need some better songs of our own; something to nod our head and clap a hand to. And preferably with a strong bass line.

So, here, without further ado, are my top 10 picks for new national anthems in the liberated zone.

10. Paths of Victory / Odetta

This classic folk anthem by the underrated and often overlooked Odetta is a good start for any liberation soundtrack.

9. Everyone / Van Morrison

One of the happiest songs ever written about our future freedom day, Van Morrison captures the absolute joy and wonder we are fighting for.

8. Harvest for the World / The Isley Brothers

Definitely danceable, this anthem puts justice on the table – and in a global context.

7. All You Need Is Love / The Beatles

We can never have too much love or Beatles come the revolution.

6. Together / Roy Ayers

This is a way better version of one people, under God, indivisible – plus that bass line tho’…

5. Ain’t No Stopping Us Now / McFadden and Whitehead

You already know…

4. We’re a Winner / Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions

Because we gotta “keep on pushin’ .”

3. Ella’s Song / Sweet Honey in the Rock

Sweet Honey in the Rock called on we who believe in freedom to not rest. It was the call to “stay woke” before its time.

2. Alright / Kendrick Lamar (clean version)

This song has probably replaced “Lift Every Voice” as the actual Black anthem for millions. Props are due.

1. One Nation Under a Groove / Funkadelic

Unequivocally, the best song ever written about nationhood and survival. Here’s your chance to dance your way out of your constrictions.

That’s my list. What’s yours?

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Makani Themba
Makani Themba is chief strategist at Higher Ground Change Strategies based in Jackson, Mississippi. A social justice innovator and pioneer in the field of change communications and narrative strategy, she has spent more than 20 years supporting organizations, coalitions and philanthropic institutions in developing high impact change initiatives. She describes the project as “a place where change makers can get the support they need to take their work to the next level.” It helps partners integrate authentic engagement, systems analysis, communications and more for powerful, vision-based change.