Marian Anderson Sings
In early 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution denied internationally famed contralto Marian Anderson the opportunity to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., because of her race. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt was so dismayed by the injustice that she resigned her own D.A.R. membership in protest. On Easter Sunday, April 9, Anderson, at the invitation of Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes, sang a triumphant outdoor concert at the Lincoln Memorial before a crowd of 75,000 and a radio audience of millions.
Photo: Library of Congress
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Marian Anderson (1897)
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Though Anderson was recognized as one of the finest contraltos of her time, racism in the US limited her performing career. Her most electrifying moment came in 1939, when she was refused permission to sing in Washington’s Constitution Hall. Outraged, then-first lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial instead. The concert was broadcast to great acclaim. Anderson continued to break down racial barriers, becoming the first black singer to perform where in 1955? More… Discuss
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Tagged Anderson, Contralto, DAR Constitution Hall, Daughters of the American Revolution, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lincoln Memorial, marian anderson, Though Anderson, United States
Marian Anderson, William Primrose and Franz Rupp.