Today in History–January 7–the Library of Congress features singer Marian Anderson, who made her debut at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on his day in 1955. Barred from attending a Philadelphia music school because of her race, Anderson’s family, friends and church helped fund private voice lessons. Although she toured Europe and the United States extensively, Anderson continued to suffer discrimination. In the most infamous incident, in 1939 Anderson was prohibited from performing at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the organization in protest and Anderson was invited to perform on the steps on the Lincoln Memorial (see image above) on April 9 of that same year. Find out more about this singular contralto by visiting the Today in History section and reviewing the resources listed below.
The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial Library of Congress blog April 9, 2014
Marian Anderson: Realizing History Through Song In the Muse blog April 9, 2013
Historic newspaper articles
- “Howard Glee Club and Marian Anderson Give Successful Concert” The Dallas Express April 16, 1921
- “Marian Anderson Sings at Dunbar” The Washington Herald December 12, 1920
- “Marian Anderson Recital” Evening Public Ledger May 19, 1922