In celebrating Paul Robeson we know that if he was here today he would want to make sure that we spend a lot of our focusing on all of the other geniuses that he came up with. One of those geniuses for sure enough is Contralto Marian Anderson the great opera artist of the 20th century.
Marian 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. The incident placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level unusual for a classical musician. With the aid of First Lady #EleanorRoosevelt
and her husband Franklin D. 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. She sang before a crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions. Anderson continued to break barriers for black artists in the United States, becoming the first black person, American or otherwise, to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City on January 7, 1955. Her performance as Ulrica in Giuseppe #verdi
Un ballo in maschera at the Met was the only time she sang an opera role on stage.
Paul Robeson met with Marian on numerous occasions including this 1946 dinner in her honor
worked for several years as a delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Committee and as a "goodwill ambassadress" for the United States Department of State, giving concerts all over the world. She participated in the #civilrights
movement in the 1960s, singing at the #MarchonWashington
for Jobs and Freedom in 1963. The recipient of numerous awards and honors, Anderson was awarded the #presidentialmedaloffreedom
, the Congressional Gold Medal in 1977, the #kennedycenterhonors
, the #nationalmedalofarts
in 1986, and a #Grammy
Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991. #paulrobeson #paulrobeson365 #blackhistorymonth #blackhistory365 #racism #opera #operahistory @the.root