Marian Anderson Loved to Sing. Her deep, rich voice thrilled audiences the world over. By the mid-1930s she was a famed vocalist who had been applauded by European royalty, welcomed at the White House, and adored by appreciative listeners in concert halls across the United States. But because of her race, she was denied the right to sing at Constitution Hall, Washington's largest and finest auditorium. Though Marian Anderson was not a crusader or a spokesperson by nature, her response to this injustice catapulted her into the center of the civil rights movement of the time. She came to stand for all black artists -- and for all Americans of color -- when, with the help of prominent figures such as Eleanor Roosevelt, she gave a landmark performance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that broke racial barriers and hastened the end of segregation in the arts.
Drawing on Anderson's own writings and other first-person accounts, Newbery medalist Russell Freedman shows readers a singer pursuing her art in the context of the social and political climate of the day. Profusely illustrated with contemporary photographs, here is an inspiring account of the life of a talented, determined artist who left her mark on musical and social history. Russell Freedman was aware that Marian Anderson was one of the great vocal artists of the 20th century. He hadn't thought of writing a book about her, however, until he found out about the encounter between her and Eleanor Roosevelt that led to the Lincoln Memorial concert and established Anderson as a seminal figure in the civil rights movement. Mr. Freedman is the acclaimed author of more than 40 nonfiction books for young people, He is also the recipient of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for his body of work. Mr. Freedman lives in New York City Book jacket.