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 free on ebooks, plus other resources about Marian Anderson:
|Marian Anderson singing as Ulrica in Verdi's Opera.|