Marian Anderson Breaks the Color Barrier 1939

– Stasov

Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993) was an African-American contralto and one of the most celebrated singers of the twentieth century.  Anderson became an important figure in the struggle for black artists to overcome racial prejudice in the United States during the mid twentieth century. In 1939, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused permission for Anderson to sing to an integrated audience in Constitution Hall. Their race-driven refusal placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level usually only found by high profile celebrities and politicians. With the aid of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., to a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. [Wikipedia]

Harold Ickes, Secretary of the Interior, introduces Marian Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial April 9, 1939, saying “Genius draws no color lines”:

Courtesy of  and YouTube

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