TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Award-winning actress Sheryl Lee Ralph performed a powerful and historic rendition of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” ahead of kickoff at Super Bowl LVII on Sunday.

Ralph, one of the stars in the hit comedy show “Abbot Elementary,” took the field at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, to kick off the series of pregame ballads.

While wearing a flowing red velvet gown, she began the song dubbed the Black national anthem as a reflective ballad, and it became a soaring hymn as it went on, with military-style drums joining her and a choir dressed all in white chiming in behind her, the Associated Press wrote.

With her performance, Ralph became the first person to perform the Black national anthem on the field before the Super Bowl.

Often referred to as “The Black National Anthem,” the song was written as a poem by James Weldon Johnson, The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s (NAACP) first Black executive secretary.

According to the NAACP, the song was “prominently used as a rallying cry during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. “

Johnson’s brother, John Rosamond Johnson, composed the music for the lyrics.

The NAACP shared that the hymn was first publicly performed by a choir of 500 schoolchildren at a segregated Stanton School in Jacksonville, Florida, where James Weldon Johnson was principal. The organization said it was performed to celebrate President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

The song was adopted by the NAACP as their official song in 1919, 12 years before the nation adopted “The Star-Spangled Banner” as the national anthem, according to Time Magazine.

Ahead of her performance, Ralph shared her excitement about singing the Black national anthem on Twitter by saying it was “no coincidence” that she’d be performing on the same date it was first publicly performed.

“It is no coincidence that I will be singing the Black National Anthem, Lift Every Voice and Sing at the Super Bowl on the same date it was first publicly performed 123 years ago (February 12, 1900). Happy Black History Month!,” Ralph said.