Saturday, February 27, 2016

Marian Anderson: "I Have A Great Belief In The Future Of My People And My Country."

Today is the birthday of the American singer, Marian AndersonWhen she passed away in 1993 at the age of 96 the world lost one of its finest voices of the 20th century. She swept to international fame in 1939 with a public performance at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. 

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) had denied her the opportunity to perform in their venue, Constitution Hall, because she was black. The decision didn't sit well with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt who sat on the national board of directors of the DAR. Mrs.Roosevelt intervened and helped arrange one of the iconic events of our time.

Portrait of Marian Anderson, 1940
Here is a documentary, Portrait of Marian Anderson, produced for the Greater Washington Telecommunications Association and first aired on public television on May 8, 1991. I normally don't post lengthy audiovisuals but this one affords viewers a flexible opportunity to learn about her life, listen to her singing, and hear her personal observations on an extraordinary life that included seven decades on the stage.


Photos and Illustrations:
1939 concert, public domain photo by U.S. Information Agency, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C.
Anderson portrait, Carl Van Vechten Collection, Library of Congress

Title quote, Marian Anderson 

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