Today’s Black History Month illustration is of Marian Anderson, whose 1939 performance at the Lincoln Memorial raised awareness of racial discrimination.
She had been scheduled to sing at Washington’s Constitution Hall, but the Daughters of the American Revolution (who managed the hall) refused to let her sing because she was Black. In response, Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR, and President Roosevelt gave permission for a concert at the Lincoln Memorial. She performed “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” to an audience of 75,000 people and an NBC radio audience of millions.
Anderson also was the first African American to be invited to perform at New York’s Metropolitan Opera House and the first African American invited to perform at the White House.
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