Jully Black Receives Threatening, Racist Messages in Response to "O Canada" Lyric Change

The singer altered the national anthem by one word when she performed it at the NBA all-star game

Photo: Anna Keena Photography

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Feb 27, 2023

Never underestimate people's willingness to be racist for the sake of so-called patriotism. Case in point: it's been one week since Jully Black made the slightest edit to the Canadian National Anthem while performing at the NBA all-star basketball game, and she's still receiving abhorrent hate messages.

If you missed it, Black changed the "O Canada" lyrics from "Our home and native land" to "Our home on Native land," which both sounds practically the same and is undeniably true.

Last week, the singer explained that in the wake of the ongoing discovery of unmarked graves at residential schools around the country and lacking reconciliation efforts, she had turned down several National Anthem performance invitations before the global opportunity NBA all-star game.

On CBC's Commotion with Elamin Abdelmahmoud podcast, she said that conversations with her Indigenous friends had been what changed her mind — but knew she knew she'd have to alter the wording of the anthem. "Like, that was on my heart," Black said.

Despite making quite the press circuit following the performance, she continues to be met with backlash for the one-word change in solidarity with the Indigenous communities around the country that the government has historically committed — and continues to commit — atrocities against.

Today, Black shared a screenshot of an email rife with racial slurs and vague threats, writing, "This is what I'm getting as a BORN and raised Canadian," in a tweet with the hashtag #HateRunsDeep.

"Who the fuck do you think you are?" asked one Terencia Capleton. "When I see your ugly face I see a manly looking [sic], ungrateful middle aged [sic] black [sic] woman, who is deeply conflicted and always holds a grudge against Canadian society because she grew up always as the darkest kid in the class. What a fucking cry baby."

The emailer clarified that they are not white and originally from India, but "having lived in Canada for the past thirty years I know the difference between a patriot and a n—," adding, "You watch and see what happens to you if you ever try and pull this shit ever again."

This is undoubtedly just one example of the hate speech-filled repercussions Black has faced after making her tiny, completely justified remix to "O Canada" — the popularized English lyrics written by Robert Stanley Weir more than a century ago.

See the artist's tweet below.

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