Today I would like to share with you, the story of one of the greatest singers of the 20th century, Marian Anderson.

Anderson was born on February 27, 1897 in Philadelphia, P.A. She was a gifted child who sung at the church she attended. Anderson’s aunt, Mary, convinced her to join the youth choir at the age of six. She would often sing solos and eventually gained some fans.

Aunt Mary would take Anderson to different concerts, and find different opportunities for her to sing. She would earn up to 50 cents. The older she became, the more serious she became with her singing. Her efforts allowed her to earn more money.

After graduating from High School, Anderson applied for the Philadelphia  Music Academy, an all white school at the time. Although she was talented, she was denied due to her race.


Marian Anderson

In 1925, she entered a singing competition in New York and won first prize. Despite her fame and popularity, she was still denied some things such as, service at restaurants and lodging in hotels, because of her race.

In 1939, Anderson was denied the opportunity to sing for an integrated crowd in Constitution Hall in Washington. The Daughters of the American Revolution Organization refused to let her sing, and the manager of the hall said, “no negro will ever appear in this hall while I am manager”.

On April 9, 1939, Anderson performed at the Lincoln Memorial. She sung among a crowd of at least 70,000 people. Later on the Daughters of the American Revolution invited her to sing at Constitution Hall.


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Anderson was a black, classy, educated, and well mannered woman. She was awarded the United Nations Peace Prize in 1939 and later on, a Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement. Marian Anderson is recognized as a great black heroine.

Read more about Marian Anderson at


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