"Lift Every Voice: Marian Anderson" Article Review

By: Nyla Griffith

“Lift Every Voice: Marian Anderson, Florence B. Price And The Sound of Black Sisterhood” by Alisha Lola Jones is a very moving article. It details the accomplishments and style of Marian Anderson in her efforts to change the view of black women in the public eye. What was particularly interesting to me was the use of black composers to express black nationalism. Black people have always found creative and peaceful ways to overcome oppression. Marian Anderson’s strategy is no different and a perfect example of this. Marian Anderson also sent coded messages to her people in the music that she was performing for everyone to see. In her performance of “My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord” she conveyed piety, but when you dive deeper, you find coded messages to African Americans. She was using a device that is commonly used by African Americans to critique people or a situation. Another interesting point from the article was how Marian Anderson conveyed black sisterhood through her works. She had to do what most successful black people had to do then to get their success. She had to conform to some European standards to break barriers for the black community as a whole. I believe that this is a common trend. When black people have a point to make, they first have to earn the platform to say it on. 

In conclusion, I enjoyed reading this article. I think that it had great insight into Marian Anderson’s vision and work. It showed us how she came to be so successful and how she represented black people at the time. She is a role model and an icon in the African American community.