MARIAN ANDERSON

     Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1897. She was a musician whose career helped open doors for other black American musicians.

     When Marian was 6 years old she began singing in the church choir. By the age of 22 she was charging 5 dollars per show, which was a lot of money at the time. Her career began in the black communities and quickly spread to black colleges and churches.

     Although Marian was amazingly talented, she wasn’t given very many opportunities to perform in front of white audiences in America. She decided to travel Europe instead and began performing in front of Kings.

     In 1939 the famous Sol Hurok heard her in Paris and decided to promote her in the U.S.  Hurok tried to book her at the Washington D.C’s Constitution Hall and was told by the man who answered the phone, “No negro will ever play in the hall while I’m manager”.  The public was furious. Eleanor Roosevelt  and the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) decided to retaliate by organizing an enormous concert for her.  Marian sang live in front of 75,000 people and millions more listened via radio.

     National recognition soon followed, she would go on to sing at the inaugurations of Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy.  President Eisenhower appointed her as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee.  She gave her final concert in 1965 at Carnegie Hall.  Marian Anderson died in 1993, she was 96 years old.

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