In Honor of Black History Month Regina’s Family Seasons would like to introduce…
Marian Anderson was born February 27, 1897 in Philadelphia, PA and died April 8, 1993 in Portland, Oregon of congestive heart failure a month after she had a stroke.
This legendary contralto was the first African-American member of New York’s Metropolitan Opera. She also made history at the age of 42 in 1939, when, after being banned from performing at Constitution Hall because she was black, she gave a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that was attended by 75,000.
The concert was arranged after the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to let her perform at Constitution Hall because she was black which consequently caused first Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to resign from the DAR in protest. First Lady Roosevelt then helped arrange the Easter morning concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. The concert was a milestone in the civil rights movement. Anderson also sang at the 1963 March on Washington.
In 1957 Marian Anderson’s autobiography titled “My Lord, What A Morning” was published. Also in 1957 Anderson sang at the inauguration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Anderson was the recipient of numerous awards and honors, most notable was the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 by President Lyndon B. Johnson. She also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
On January 27, 2005, a commemorative U.S. postal stamp honored Marian Anderson as part of the Black Heritage series.