***The Voice that Challenged a Nation
Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
by Russell Freedman
Reviewed June 5, 2004.
Clarion Books, New York, 2004. 114 pages.
A 2004 Horn Book Fanfare selection.
I was already interested in Marian Anderson’s inspiring story by reading
the picture book When Marian Sang,
by Pam Munoz Ryan. Russell Freedman’s book about Marian Anderson fleshes
out the details of that story.
The Voice That Challenged a Nation
tells about Marian Anderson’s
life for older readers. It includes many photographs and goes into
detail about her struggle to get voice training and then her great triumphs
as a singer.
Marian Anderson sang before kings and queens in Europe, but wasn’t allowed
to sing in Constitution Hall in Washington, D. C., because she was black.
Eleanor Roosevelt took up her cause, and she ended up singing a free concert
at the Lincoln Memorial to 75,000 people.
Marian Anderson didn’t like to make a fuss and didn’t look for controversy.
She only loved to sing. But her “once in a hundred years” voice opened
doors for other black performers and challenged the nation to think again
This book is the well-written story of a fascinating life.
Review of another book by Russell Freedman:
Confucius: The Golden Rule