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Thursday, April 09, 2015

Let Freedom Sing!

On this day in 1939, Marian Anderson made history by singing a concert for more than 75,000 at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D. C. The Daughters of the American Revolution had refused Anderson permission to sing in Constitution Hall because she was black, as had officials of D.C. when she requested performing in the auditorium of a white public high school. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial, on federal property, a significant acknowledgement of the concept of equality for all in the U. S.

Here's a documentary of Anderson which includes footage of the performance in 1939 (history of the performance begins at approximately 28:00):

We have two children's books that cover the 1939 event, The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman and When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson by Pam Muñoz Ryan, both found in J B AND. And we also have an adult biography of Anderson, Marian Anderson: A Singer's Journey by Allan Keiler [B AND].

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