BLACK VOICES
02/14/2013 11:28 am ET Updated Feb 14, 2013

Ray Charles Performs 'Georgia On My Mind': Black History Photo Of The Day (PHOTO)

A picture is certainly worth a thousand words. What better way to celebrate Black History Month than by taking a moment to acknowledge the snapshots of time that represent the struggle and triumph of African-Americans through the years?

As part of our Black History Month coverage, we will be featuring one photo a day that honors years of groundbreaking achievements within the black community. These photos bring tears to our eyes, instill pride in our hearts and motivate us to carry on the legacy of strength and perseverance.

Today's photo was taken on March 7, 1979, showing singer Ray Charles performing at Georgia's Gold Dome for the State Legislature. Charles serenaded lawmakers, singing his rendition of "Georgia On My Mind."

Although the film based on the entertainer's life asserts that he was banned from his home state after refusing to perform for a white-only audience, that claim is, in fact, untrue. Charles was, however, welcomed by the state General Assembly on this date to perform, and his version of the famous song was declared Georgia's official state song by law.

Although other states also have official songs, Georgia's choice of a specific performer is rare. Critics praised Charles' rendition as a genius interpretation and melodic blend and state lawmakers agreed, passing the bill to honor the legendary musician.

Take a look at the photo and share your thoughts in the comments section below.

ray charles

PHOTO GALLERIES
Black History Month Photos

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