Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Black History Month: Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson
'Marian Anderson's Future Fund' was the name of the extra offering her church used to pass around so the little girl with the big voice could have singing lessons. Her dad bought her a piano when she was a very young, and after he passed away when she was eight, her mom raised her and her two little sisters. That's a lot of faith put into a young person.

Marian Anderson did not let anyone down. She not only used her very unusual gift for extreme excellence in opera, receiving international acclaim, but used her very unusual gift for grace and morality in the confrontation with baseness and racism.

She used a cash award from the city of Philadelphia to start an award for young people. Not for young people only of her race or profession, but young people of her humanitarian dispositions.

Even when accosted by racism in her own country, such as separate accomodations while touring, she was the perfect lady.  The most famous incident of racism was in the nation's capitol when she requested to rent a certain hall for a concert in 1939. The Daughters of the American Revolution, who owned the hall, refused to rent to her because they had a segregationist policy. The First Lady at the time, Eleanor Roosevelt, resigned from the DAR because of their attitude, and arranged for Marian Anderson's now famous concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial twenty-five years before Dr. King's speech there. I could also be a member of the DAR from three out of four of my grandparents,  but would rather not for the same reasons.

American Experience Biography: Marian Anderson

Eleanor Roosevelt and Marian Anderson

Easter morning 1939
Marian Anderson's Easter Sunday Lincoln Memorial concert on April 9, 1939 from the UCLA Film & Television Archive's "Hearst Metrotone News Collection."


 A short film about the life and career of singer Marian Anderson up through 1950. Transferred from original 35mm print. Footage from this subject is available for licensing from www.globalimageworks.com



Langston Hughes wrote about Marian. Marian Anderson: Famous Concert Singer. with Steven C. Tracy 1954

Marian Anderson singing as Ulrica in Verdi's Opera.

This is an article from NPR.

Avedon And Marian Anderson At Smithsonian


Marian Anderson



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