What I Had Was Singing: The Story of Marian Anderson

What I Had Was Singing: The Story of Marian Anderson

4.5 2
by Jeri Ferris

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.
Julie Corsaro
With a dignity well suited to the subject, this simply written biography presents the basic facts and humanizing details of Marian Anderson's life. Beginning with the singer's turn-of-the-century childhood, Ferris discusses the great contralto's early church-sponsored music lessons in Philadelphia, her triumphs in Europe, and the groundbreaking performance at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, as well as her watershed appearances at the Metropolitan Opera during the 1950s. While emphasizing Anderson's pioneering role in breaking down racial barriers, this profile is also important for showing how the hardworking artist never took her prodigious talent for granted. While it may be unfair to criticize a book for what it is not, it still would have been interesting to learn how Anderson's relationship with her maternal Jewish grandfather and her part Native American grandmother influenced her own racial attitudes. A handful of relevant endnotes, a good selection of black-and-white photographs, and a bibliography are appended.

Product Details

San Val
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
6.84(w) x 9.18(h) x 0.47(d)
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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