REMEMBRANCES OF EXCELLENCY PAST: MARIAN ANDERSON

Honoring Her Excellency Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993), Outstandingly Excellent internationally-renowned African-American contralto, denied permission (because of her race) by the Daughters of the American Revolution, to sing at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., in 1939, Anderson instead was permitted, with the help of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, to give an historic, civil rights-inspiring, Easter Sunday performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, before an appreciative and enthusiastic crowd of 75,000, which was broadcast to millions via radio. Groundbreaking Anderson was also the first Black singer to perform, as Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi‘s Un ballo in maschera, at The Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955. Excellent Anderson quote: “Prejudice is like a hair across your cheek. You can’t see it, you can’t find it with your fingers, but you keep brushing at it because the feel of it is irritating.”

Her Excellency Marian Anderson in Oustanding performance. Image via Manolobig.com.

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