Marian Anderson

Philomel. (She Persisted). Jun. 2022. 80p. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780593403761.
Gr 1-4–Imagine the indignity of being known worldwide for your amazing voice, but being denied the right to stay overnight in a hotel because of the color of your skin. Marian Anderson’s remarkable life was full of these absurdities. Born in Philadelphia in 1897, Anderson was surrounded by a loving family, supportive community, and gifted teachers. Her talent was recognized early, enabling her to perform at public events and earn money to help with family finances. She was persistent in her efforts to overcome the prejudice that often stood in the way of her dreams to become a professional singer. She succeeded. If a school turned her away because of her race, Anderson applied to another. If her family could not afford to send her to high school, she waited until the funds were available and then worked hard to graduate. During her long career she performed on six continents; sang for kings, queens, and presidents; and became a U.S. Goodwill Ambassador promoting the Civil Rights Movement. This early chapter book biography is illustrated throughout. It includes a table of contents, references, and an appended section listing meaningful activities that can be done in celebration of Anderson’s life and musical legacy.
VERDICT This biography showcases the life of an extremely talented American, while realistically addressing the discrimination she faced during her lifetime. A solid addition to any collection.

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