Lift Every Voice: Marian Anderson, Florence B. Price And The Sound Of Black Sisterhood

Throughout history black women have started powerful movements although they often do not get the recognition or platform for their work. Marian Anderson was an important figure for the liberation of black women in the United States. She performed her songs as acts of protests toward the treatment of black women. Marian Anderson would also reject performing in places that still had the laws of segregation in place. In 1939 Marian Anderson refused to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. because the owner of the Halls daughter was a part of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Mrs. Anderson has performed at Howard University and for the First Lady Elanor Roosevelt at Lincoln Memorial in front of a crowd of 75,000 people on Resurrection Sunday. Black composers used to work with concert musicians to push the agenda of black nationalism. Black nationalism was the ideology that black people should be economically self sufficient, and prideful in their race. Anderson and Price both found refuge as black musicians at NANM. Marian Anderson’s signature closing song was “My Souls Been Anchored in the Lord”, which was arranged with the help of Price. Price quoted Harriet Tubman by saying “Oh, dear lord, I ain’t got no friend but you.”,  and this quote is significant because it was a uniting statement that let other African Americans know that not only is God with them, but they can confide in one another about their problems because they can all relate. Even the way that Marian Anderson dressed signified black excellence, because she wore luxurious gowns that were typically synonymous to wealthy white woman. Marian Anderson was not only important in the african american feminist movement, but in the african americant movement for equality in general. She set a precedent of excellence, and being brave in the face of adversity.

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