Marian Anderson By: faith erdmann

Marian Anderson was a legend in the music world. She was an african american woman that gave a voice and courage to a lot of other african american woman that were scared to stand up and do what they wanted. Merian had a passion for singing and she was very good at it. But it was a struggle for her because in the 1950’s there was a lot of racism and sexism. People did not like black people and everyone, no matter what race especially did not believe that a woman was capable of doing what a man could.

Marian was born on February 27, 1902 in Philadelphia. She was the oldest of her 3 sisters. Her family was always poor while Marian was growing up but they tried making the best out of it. As a young girl she was turned down by a catholic music church because of the color of her skin. But she tried to earn money to be able to go to a music school. Marian had a passion for singing and she never gave up her dream to become a famous Opera singer.

By the time she was in her 20’s she had become more and more well known. When she was 28 she went in a New York Philharmonic voice competition and she won 1st out of 300 competitors. After that, Marian sang in a significant concert at New York's Town Hall. Besides singing in the concert, she tried to show all people that no matter what color your skin is, you can still become successful and do anything you set your mind to. Marian said ‘’You lose a lot of time hating people. As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold them down. So that means you can’t soar as you thought you might’’.

Marian became more and more well known and became a big voice for many African Americans. On a Easter Sunday in the 1930’s, the United states government offered Marian to sing at the Lincoln Memorial. Over 75,000 people came to hear her sing.

She could sing in 9 different languages and wrote 200 songs in her lifetime. After she broke opera's color barrier, Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963. She was awarded many awards by many people and kept growing in success. 30 years later Marian retired and Vincent Sheean, a correspondent in Europe says about her "Rain or shine, war or peace, she has been before us now for 30 years as a living part of the nation, she was the voice to the American soul.’’ In 1992 her health started going downhill and she later passed away on April 8th in 1993.

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