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The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America
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The Sound of Freedom: Marian Anderson, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Concert That Awakened America

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  48 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Award-winning civil rights historian Ray Arsenault describes the dramatic story behind Marian Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial—an early milestone in civil rights history—on the seventieth anniversary of her performance.

On Easter Sunday 1939, the brilliant vocalist Marian Anderson sang before a throng of seventy-five thousand at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 31st 2009 by Bloomsbury Press
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Bob H
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, biography
I had opened this book thinking it would tell of an epic moment in civil rights history: the 1939 Lincoln Memorial concert by Marian Anderson. The book is much more than that. To understand how Marian Anderson got to that point, the author has given us a book of her life and times. We learn how a woman with limited access to formal education managed to find the music training to become not the finest African-American singer of her day but the most celebrated American concert singer of her day, p ...more
Kelly
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I had a resolution to expand my reading to new genres. I've typically struggled to finish non-fiction books, but this was amazing. I learned so much about this graceful woman and how she quietly helped move the color bar in the United States, well before the Civil Rights movement of the 60's. She was a quiet groundbreaker.
Helen
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I recently had the pleasure of hearing Ray Arsenault talk about Marian Anderson's remarkable life, which inspired me to read this book. He said that a student once asked him who Anderson was and he replied that she was the classical music version of Jackie Robinson, To which the student responded, "who's Jackie Robinson?" That is why we need books like this one and movies like Hidden Figures and 42.

Marian Anderson was not the first black singer to succeed in classical music, but she was among t
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Carol
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music
This book is a biography of an event, Marian Anderson's landmark 1939 concert at the Lincoln Memorial. The concert was the first large public event held at the Lincoln Memorial, and the choice of location was precipitated by the Daughters of the American Revolution and their racially motivated refusal to let Anderson perform in their Constitution hall, despite the fact that Anderson was one of the most popular and renowned classical singers of the day. Arsenault also provides us with the rest of ...more
Bob H
Nov 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had opened this book thinking it would tell of an epic moment in civil rights history: the 1939 Lincoln Memorial concert by Marian Anderson. The book is much more than that. To understand how Marian Anderson got to that point, the author has given us a book of her life and times. We learn how a woman with limited access to formal education managed to find the music training to become not the finest African-American singer of her day but the most celebrated American concert singer of her day, p ...more
Bill Hall
Mar 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history

This book is about one of the great moments in the history of the Civil Rights movement and in the history of the United States, but there’s even more to this fine work of history. This year marks the seventieth anniversary of Marian Anderson’s landmark concert at Lincoln Memorial. While the focus of the book is on that event, Arsenault also provides a biographical portrait of Anderson’s life up to the time of the concert, as well as a social and cultural portrait of the times that shaped her an
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Rebecca
Sep 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
After reading this meticulously researched book one does gain a better understanding of the Civil Rights movement and how one person can make a difference.

I think everyone has heard of the 1939 Lincoln Memorial concert but not the how or why. This book focuses on this seminal event and how it changed Marian Anderson's career and perhaps how it jump started the Civil Rights movement. The DAR refused to allow Marian to sing at Constitution Hall stating a previous engagement.
Thus began the fight w
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Dave Creek
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book is an interesting read centered about the 1939 concert the great singer Marian Anderson performed at the Lincoln Memorial after the Jim Crow laws and customs of the times kept her from performing at a concert hall.

The book actually encompasses her entire life, however, and shows her as an artist whose contributions to the cause of civil rights mostly came from her devotion to her art. Determined to showcase her artistry to as wide an audience as possible, she ended up breaking down the
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Margaret Sankey
Jul 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Recounts the 1939 refusal of the DAR to allow black performers to use Constitution Hall in Washington D.C., and the organized resistance mounted by the NAACP and dissident members of the DAR, including Eleanor Roosevelt, on behalf of Marian Anderson. Raymond Arsenault, a noted civil rights historian, digs into the archives for all the nuances of a story that is far from the simple one-line treatment it usually gets in textbooks and surveys.
Lori
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
February's bookclub book. This book taught me alot that I didn't know about people who paved the way for the Civil Rights Movement. I enjoyed reading about Marian Anderson and her impact on the United States and the world.
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