Marion Anderson's Battle Essay

Marion Anderson's Battle Essay

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“When I sing, I don't want them to see that my face is black. I don't want them to see that my face is white. I want them to see my soul. And that is colorless.” Marian Anderson, an African American opera singer, was not only known for her soprano to bass voice range, but also for her positive attitude on being a black singer during the Civil Rights Movement (Bio). Although Marian is not widely known today, her success at such a young age, numerous famous performances, perseverance during the Constitution Hall incident, and her attitude after the incident caused not only Americans, but presidents to look at civil rights differently.
Marian Anderson was born on February 27, 1897 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With Marian’s mother being a former schoolteacher and her father a coal and ice delivery man for the city, the Anderson family was not considered “well-off”. Marian, the oldest of three girls, often competed for attention with her also musically talented sisters. Marian easily won the heart of her father who supported her throughout all of her musical endeavors. Marian joined her church choir at the age of six; in support, her father bought her piano at age eight. His death, when Marian was only twelve years old, left Marian’s mother to bring up three young girls by herself. This event only pushed Marian to practice and perfect her singing talents (Bio).
Marian’s spectacular talents flourished with the support of her family and friends. At fourteen years old, Marian’s choir director, Alexander Robinson, moved her from the youth choir to the adult choir. Robinson was in shock of the young girl’s ability to sing any part of any hymn whenever she was requested to do so. Marian showed so much potential to the congregation of he...


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...he Civil Rights Movement contrarily. Many presidents looked at her contribution to civil rights as a step forward through the chaos of the Civil Rights Movement. To Marian, the color of her skin may have caused hardships in her life, but it did not stop her from achieving success. Her “colorless” spirit and beautiful voice inspired Americans to progress in the fight for equality for all.



Works Cited
"American Experience: TV's most-watched history series." PBS. PBS. 12 May 2014 .

"Anderson, Marian." Ebsco Host. 23 Apr. 2014 .

Bio.com. A&E Networks Television. 13 May 2014 .

Matthews, Glenna. "Anderson, Marian." SIRS. 1 Dec. 2000. ProQuest. 25 Apr. 2014 .

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