Black History is American history and by failing to remember the good and the bad…future generations lose momentum…
When Marian Anderson applied to a school of music in Philadelphia, she was rejected solely based on the color of her skin. Yet, her talent could not be contained by skin color or racism. Anderson’s voice was considered the greatest musical voice of her generation and in spite of not being accepted to formal music schools, Anderson became the Queen of opera and arias. In 1939, Anderson was invited to sing in Washington, DC before dignitaries and elites, but the Daughters of the Revolution who owned Constitutional Hall refused to allow Anderson to sing there because the hall was for “Whites Only.” The organizers than tried to rent a public high school but it too refused based on its “Whites Only” policy. Accustomed to rejection, Anderson collaborated with Eleanor Roosevelt and several Black activists including Charles Houston and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and they arranged a public concert for Anderson on the National Mall in front of the Lincoln monument on Easter Sunday, 1939. Over 75,000 people of all colors gathered to hear the great Anderson sing, and over 2 million people listened over the radio. Anderson, essentially laid the foundation for the March on Washington that occurred in 1963 and she was asked to sing at the event demonstrating that her actions 24 years ago had not gone unnoticed. Anderson chose a very fitting song to sing that day, “He’s Got the Whole World In His Hands,” confirming to the audience of over 250,000 that rejection by man is no match for acceptance by God.