“I Stood on De Ribber Ob Jerdon”: Marian Anderson

During a career which spanned forty years, the American contralto Marian Anderson (1897-1993) performed at major concert venues which included the Metropolitan Opera. Her repertoire included opera, lieder, and African American spirituals. In 1939, when segregation prevented her from singing at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., Anderson performed at an open air Easter Sunday concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, which was organized with the assistance of Eleanor Roosevelt. The integrated …

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Marian Anderson at the Lincoln Memorial

On Easter Sunday, 1939, African-American contralto Marian Anderson gave a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. It is remembered as a significant event which provided a glimpse of the powerful American civil rights movement to come. Twenty four years later, in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. would stand on the same steps to deliver his iconic “I have a dream” address. As Marian Anderson performed for a multiracial crowd of …

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