Marian Anderson the Leader

Marian Anderson the Leader

by Michael Feeley February 28, 2024


What can we learn about leadership from Marian Anderson?

American opera singer Marian Anderson led Civil Rights on April 9, 1939, when she sang to 75,000 people in an outdoor concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., bringing national awareness to racism. The concert was also aired over the radio.

The D.A.R. (Daughters of the American Revolution), an all-white association, denied Marian Anderson’s use of Constitution Hall for the concert. Major donors insisted that only whites could perform at Constitution Hall. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the D.A.R. in protest. She wrote:

“I am in complete disagreement with the attitude taken in refusing Constitution Hall to a great artist … You had an opportunity to lead in an enlightened way and it seems to me that your organization has failed.”

Renowned conductor Arturo Toscanini said this of Marian Anderson –

“A voice like hers only comes along once in a hundred years.”

– After high school, the all-white Philadelphia Music Academy refused to admit Marian Anderson.

– At age 23, she beat out 300 competitors to sing with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.

– 1955 – she was the first black woman to sing at the Metropolitan Opera.

– 1957 – she was the first black woman to sing at a presidential inauguration for Eisenhower.

– 1961 – she sang at JFK’s inauguration.

Marian Anderson faced racism throughout her life. She built her reputation in Europe, returned to the United States to prove herself again, and spent decades touring the world.

Marian Anderson used her music to bring people together.

Please connect with the link below to see and hear her historic singing:



Thanks – Michael (he, him)

Please share my Daily with your tribes.
This is also important – Belonging – Inclusion.


(Google image – Marian Anderson )

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