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Singer Marian Anderson, known for her 3 octave vocal range began performing in the US and Europe in the 1920s. In 1936, she was the first African American to perform at the White House. The Contralto singer performed for President Franklin Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. In 1939, she performed at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. She was initially scheduled to sing at the DAR Constitution Hall but the Daughters of the American Revolution, an organization that helped manage the concert hall, denied her the right to perform because she was black. As a show of protest, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned her membership from the organization. Marian Anderson wasn’t just a singer and performer, she was also involved in politics and civil rights issues. She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991. Watch the video of her historic performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 singing “America (My Country Tis of Thee)”. 

Black Women’s History – Marian Anderson  was originally published on praisedc.com

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