Smart Girl Stories
Marian Anderson

The Legacy of Marian Anderson

Have you ever heard of the great American contralto, Marian Anderson? She was an iconic figure in the history of civil rights and music. In 1939, she became the first African-American soloist to appear at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Her accomplishments and legacy remain a source of inspiration today. Let’s take a closer look at Marian Anderson and her achievements.

Marian Anderson – Early Life

Born on February 27, 1897, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Anderson had no formal musical training as a child. Despite this, she developed an impressive vocal range and talent for singing spirituals and classical music. She began performing publicly during her teenage years and quickly gained attention for her beautiful voice. In 1925, Anderson moved to New York City to pursue a career in music professionally.

Anderson soon became one of America’s most popular vocalists. Over the course of her career, she performed with many notable orchestras around the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra. She was also invited to sing at the White House by then President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936, the first African-American ever to do so!

National Attention

But it was Anderson’s performance outside of Constitution Hall in 1939 that gained her national attention and made her a major symbol for civil rights activism across America. After being denied entrance into Constitution Hall due to racial segregation laws, Anderson performed an open-air recital at the Lincoln Memorial instead, an event which drew over 75,000 people from all walks of life!

This groundbreaking accomplishment helped pave the way for future generations of African-Americans who sought equal opportunities in entertainment venues around the country for years to come!

Marian’s Legacy

Marian Anderson’s legacy lives on today through her inspiring story and music. Her courage redefined what it meant to be an African-American woman during a time when racial inequality was rampant throughout America’s social landscape.

We owe it to ourselves as citizens to remember Marian Anderson’s accomplishments so that we never forget how far we have come as a nation and how far we still need to go!

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Founder, Smart Girl, Survivor, Champion of womens rights and kids rights


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