Monday, February 27, 2017

Marian Anderson: "...I Want Them To See My Soul. And That Is Colorless."

The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) 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 was a member of the national board of directors of the DAR. Mrs.Roosevelt intervened and helped arrange one of the iconic events of our time.

Marian Anderson swept to international fame in 1939 with her public performance at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. She was born on this day in Philadelphia in 1897. When she passed away in 1993 at the age of 96 the world lost one of its finest voices of the 20th century.

Portrait of Marian Anderson          Carl Van Vechton, 1940

For more information on the life and times of Marian Anderson readers will enjoy this excellent production for the Greater Washington Telecommunications Association first aired on public television on May 8, 1991.


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

Anderson quote,

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