Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Genius Draws No Color Line"

Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the historic day when contralto Marian Anderson, after being denied the chance to sing at the Daughter of American Revolution's Constitutional Hall (and as a result, the DAR lost one of its members, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, in protest), performed in front of a crowd of 75,000 at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday.

The Secretary of the Interior, Harold L. Ickes, invited Marian to sing; he introduced her by saying, "Genius draws no color line." To listen to his five-minute speech, visit here.

It is chilling to watch her sing, "My Country 'Tis of Thee" ~ especially with the Great Emancipator in the backdrop of this video.

I will never forget my visit to the Lincoln Memorial -- I cried just standing near it. Every American should visit it at least once in their lifetime.

What a voice, what a smile. An awesome moment in history.

A beautiful photographic history book, meant for readers ages 9-12, is available on Amazon: The Voice That Challenged A Nation: Marian Anderson and The Struggle of Equal Rights, by Russell Freedman.

Be sure to visit The Marian Anderson Historical Society web site ~ and share this historic moment with the children in your life.


  1. Kathleen - Marian Anderson was one of the finest singers ever. Period. I am glad that within my lifetime, we've moved from "back of the bus" to our first non-white U.S. president. No matter what one's politics, that is a real achievement that was made possible by the courage of people like Anderson.

  2. I agree ~ where would we be if it wasn't for the courageous folks?
    Thanks for stopping by, Margot ~ always a pleasure!