SEARCH: OPERA SINGER MARIAN ANDERSON

In the Spring Issue of SEARCH Magazine,
author Sumiko Saulson talks about the great Marian Anderson.

marianEvery year, during Black History Month, my elementary school would trot out a list of well-known and recognizable figures. We only knew the most basic information about most of them. George Washington Carver invented some innovative farming techniques, but for a third grader, he became the guy responsible for me having Skippy Peanut Butter. Rosa Parks made it so I could sit in the front of a bus if I wanted to. But who were the people behind the legends, the real people we learned to view as iconic figures? I never asked myself that question until I was in my early twenties, when my mom informed me I was a distant relation of one of them.

Marian Anderson, a world renowned opera singer, is best known here in America as the first African American invited to perform for the president. The bold contralto was asked to perform for Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his famously progressive first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. She wasn’t allowed to perform in the White House because of segregation, so she performed at the Lincoln Memorial instead. Eleanor was friends with Ms. Anderson and had a lot to do with her invitation to sing.

My grandmother, Eleanora Mathews nee Lynch…” to read the full article, check out the free eCopy here.

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