Today's lesson, Racism. If you see something written here that you’ve said or done, use it as an opportunity. Take it as a wake up call and make the decision to grow, change and be conscious of your own privilege. Remember, I am not a speaker for the entirety of a people.
Marian Anderson is renowned throughout the world for her extraordinary contralto voice, she is also remembered for her dignity and grace under pressure. Through the mechanism of recorded sound, we can continue to enjoy Ms. Anderson’s renderings of Lieder and spirituals. Through the reflected light of photographs, we can glimpse the preparation and performance of her repertoire. And through the papers that she left behind, we can investigate and understand how, when, where, and with whom her life took shape, was enriched, and became enriching not only for her audiences but also for others in need.
Before her death in 1993 Marian Anderson placed her personal papers - including letters, music scores, programs, photographs, and sound recordings - with the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, where they are housed in the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. In 1996 the National Endowment for the Humanities provided Penn with outright and matching grants to preserve, catalog, and make available to the public the archive of Marian Anderson. The material on display is drawn from this important research collection. A register or inventory of the Marian Anderson Papers is available on-line. Through a donation from the Walter J. Miller Charitable Trust, the Rare Book & Manuscript Library has been able to create digital facsimiles of the more than 4,000 unique images in the Marian Anderson Collection.