Marian Anderson in D.C.
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 in Washington, DC. The incident placed Anderson into the spotlight of the international community on a level unusual for a classical musician.

After a campaign that involved hundreds of people in the District of Columbia, the federal government granted permission for Anderson to perform at the Lincoln Memorial.

With the aid of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt 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. She sang before an integrated crowd of more than 75,000 people and a radio audience in the millions.

Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897 – April 8, 1993 was an American singer, one of the most celebrated of the twentieth century. Music critic Alan Blyth said: "Her voice was a rich, vibrant contralto of intrinsic beauty."

She performed in concert and recital in major music venues and with famous orchestras throughout the United States and Europe between 1925 and 1965. Although offered roles with many important European opera companies, Anderson declined, as she had no training in acting.

She preferred to perform in concert and recital only. She did, however, perform opera arias within her concerts and recitals. She made many recordings that reflected her broad performance repertoire, which ranged from concert literature to lieder to opera to traditional American songs and spirituals.
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