An Ongoing Series from the Library of Congress
Marian Anderson sang opera and spirituals, performing for rapt audiences around the globe. After impressing European heads of state and composers with her “once in a hundred years” voice, Anderson returned home to a segregated society. Barred (because of her skin color) from performing at Constitution Hall, Anderson performed a free concert at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday 1939. Broadcast nationwide via radio and drawing a live audience of 75,000, Anderson’s performance highlighted the gap between her nation’s stated intentions and its “separate but equal” realities.
That same year, Anderson was awarded the NAACP’s Spingarn Medal, an honor since bestowed upon Rosa Parks, Maya Angelou, and Colin Powell. In 1941, Anderson won the Philadelphia Award and established the Marian Anderson Scholarship Fund to aid emerging singers needing financial assistance. A civic champion as well as a world-class performer, Anderson always remembered that her girlhood congregation had collected contributions to provide vocal lessons for its beloved “baby contralto.” Women Who Dare: Marian Anderson brings to light Anderson’s dramatic and selfless life with engaging text and rare photographs.
64 pages with 46 black-and-white images. Size: 5¾ x 6½ in. Smyth-sewn casebound book, with jacket. By Howard S. Kaplan.