Marian Anderson: My Lord, What a Morning


About the Author

Born in Philadelphia in 1897, Marian Anderson grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood that exemplified both the strengths and the weaknesses of inner-city life. While her childhood was marked by poverty and the early death of her father, she enjoyed the benefits of being raised in a close-knit extended family that nurtured her personal and musical development. Both sides of her family had migrated to Pennsylvania from Virginia in the early 1890s.

All four of Anderson’s grandparents had lived as slaves, but in Philadelphia her parents and grandparents found a measure of freedom and stability anchored in religious faith. Followed closely by two talented younger sisters, Anderson joined the Union Baptist Church junior choir at the age of six and eventually became the pride of the congregation. As an adolescent, she became the leading soloist of the People’s Chorus, a revered institution among black Philadelphians. By the time she had reached the age of...

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Marian Anderson (Library of Congress)

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