What I Had Was Singing: The Story of Marian Anderson

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More About This Book

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Deborah Zink Roffino
This is an inspiring account of a gentle genius. Hers was a voice that needed to be strong enough to rise above a chorus of prejudice. Born in 1897, Marian Anderson was forced by bigotry to take her gift beyond the shores of her own country, to raise her contralto voice on the stages of Europe. Even as the world applauded, the doors to the great concert halls in America remained locked. It took the courage of first lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, to decry the discrimination before Americans would begin to appreciate the unmatched talents of Marian's classical gift. In 1939, she gave a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The 75,000 in attendance were astounded by her masterful talents.
Children's Literature - Jan Lieberman
To be an opera singer and a black woman in the 1920's meant having a limited career. To succeed, one had to have incredible endurance, a thick skin, and unusual talent. Marian Anderson had all these qualities and more. Jeri Ferris brings this magnificent singer to light. In spite of her fame, she still faced discrimination in this country. It was her dignity and courage that set her apart. When the D.A.R. refused to let her sing at Constitution Hall, 1939, Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for her to sing in Washington at the Lincoln Memorial in a momentous concert that was broadcast throughout the country. Ms Ferris puts heart into this account of a remarkable woman who was one of the world's greatest contraltos. 1995 (orig.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780876146347
  • Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 1/28/1994
  • Series: Trailblazers Biographies Series
  • Pages: 96
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 970L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.96 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jaglvr for TeensReadToo.com

    Marian Anderson is an inspiration to all, black and white alike. Born in 1897 Philadelphia, from an early age all Marian wanted to do was sing. By the age of thirteen, Marian was singing in the adult choir at the Union Baptist Church. The Church readily knew her talent and advertised her participation in various concerts.

    As Marian grew, she knew that singing was what she wanted to do for the rest of her life. Marian studied with various music coaches, each time branching out to improve her abilities. When she decided she wanted to continue with her musical education, she was surprised to find that her skin color prevented her from attending a music school in the city. But she remained determined.

    When she was twenty-seven, Marian decided to invest her money and attempt a concert in New York City's Town Hall. The show was minimally attended and her attempts at singing in German brought her less-than-desirable reviews. After a brief period of not singing, Marian had to give in and continue with her lifelong dream.

    With travels to Europe and efforts to increase her language skills, Marian proved to the world, and more importantly the American people, that skin color made no difference. Ultimately, it was her singing that proved to America that she was just as good as any white person, and possibly better. Quoting Arturo Toscanini: "Yours is a voice such as one hears once in a hundred years."

    Ms. Ferris writes a wonderful portrait of a very inspiring lady. Marian struggled to achieve everything she dreamed of. But perseverance paid off, and Marian Anderson led the way for many talented African American female singers in the years that followed.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2009

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