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Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson (February 27, 1897-1993) was an African-American contralto, best remembered for her performance on Easter Sunday, 1939 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. The concert, which featured a stirring rendition of God Bless America, was arranged after the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) successfully had Anderson banned from singing in Constitution Hall because of her race.

In 1957, Anderson broke the color barrier by becoming the first African-American to perform with the New York Metropolitan Opera. On that occasion, she sang the part of Ulrica in Giuseppe Verdi's Un ballo in maschera.