National Archives Comes Alive! Young Learners Program: Meet Marian Anderson
National Archives Museum
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Meet Marian Anderson, the African American contralto and civil rights activist, as portrayed by Jillian Pirtle.
Marian Anderson is best known for her concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday in 1939. The Daughters of the American Revolution owned Constitution Hall, a performing arts venue built in 1929, but refused to allow Anderson to perform there based on their “Whites only” concert policy. Marian Anderson gained support from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the NAACP, Howard University, and other leaders who arranged for a concert at the Lincoln Memorial of an integrated audience of over 75,000 people. The concert was an inspiration for the growing civil rights movement, and the Memorial became a place of protest in the struggle to extend rights to all American citizens.
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