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Great Lives Lecture Series: Marian Anderson

Book cover of The Sound of Freedom by Raymond Arsenault

The University of Mary Washington's 2013 Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series continues on Thursday, February 28, with a lecture on Marian Anderson by Raymond Arsenault, author of The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert that Awakened America:

This is the dramatic story behind Marian Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial-an early milestone in civil rights history-on the seventieth anniversary of her performance. On Easter Sunday 1939, the brilliant vocalist Marian Anderson sang before a throng of seventy-five thousand at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington-an electrifying moment and an under appreciated milestone in civil rights history. Though she was at the peak of a dazzling career, Anderson had been barred from performing at the Daughters of the American Revolution's Constitution Hall because she was black. When Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR over the incident and took up Anderson's cause, however, it became a national issue. Like a female Jackie Robinson-but several years before his breakthrough-Anderson rose to a pressure-filled and politically charged occasion with dignity and courage, and struck a vital blow for civil rights. In the 1963 March on Washington, Martin Luther King would follow, literally, in Anderson's footsteps. (Publisher's description)
Find out more about this lecture on the University of Mary Washington's web site. All lectures in the university's Great Lives series are held at 7:30pm, in Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall, and are free and open to the public.
For more on this topic, check out these items from the library: Marian Anderson:  A Singer’s Journey by Allan Keiler
A biography of one of America's greatest singers and a seminal figure in the American civil rights movement uncovers the life of the first African American soloist at the Met. (

My Lord, What a Morning:  An Autobiography by Marian Anderson
Published on the heels of her groundbreaking role as the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera, here are the stories of a young girl with prodigious talent. (

American Anthem: Songs and Hymns (sound recording)
A collection of songs, including Marian Anderson singing He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands.

ARTICLES in Central Rappahannock Regional Library databases:

"Marian Anderson." Contemporary Musicians. Vol. 8. Detroit: Gale, 1992. Reproduced in Gale Biography In Context.

"Marian Anderson." Encyclopedia of World Biography. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Reproduced in Gale Biography In Context.