- Mark Clague says the national anthem doesn't glorify slavery or racism but it is a product of its time
- America's anthem is a powerful tool to achieve better understanding of ourselves and our history, he says
- Clague: We should thank Colin Kaepernick for inspiring the conversation we're having about the anthem
Mark Clague is a musicologist and professor of music history, American culture, African and AfroAmerican studies, and entrepreneurship at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor). With NEH support, he is writing a book on "The Star-Spangled Banner" and he serves as founding board chair of the Star Spangled Music foundation and its anthem history website. The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
(CNN)Quarterback Colin Kaepernick's refusal to stand for the traditional pregame singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" in protest of racism in the United States is proving to be a potent attack that will add a vibrant chapter to the fascinating history of the US national anthem.