Marian Anderson - Turning The Tables One of the 20th century's greatest classical singers, a paradigm-shifting musician across genres and a model and mentor who broke racial barriers.

Marian Anderson's story reveals a longstanding legacy of black women amplifying black women's perspectives through the politics of concert performance. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Marian Anderson is known more for two events than for the talents that made them possible. But there is more to be told, and so she asks us to listen again for who and what we know her to be. © Yousuf Karsh/ hide caption

toggle caption
© Yousuf Karsh/

Marian Anderson sings at the Lincoln Memorial, 1939. Even as her mink coat might have served practical purposes, it was also richly symbolic. Bettmann/Bettmann Archive/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Bettmann/Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

An undated portrait of America contralto Marian Anderson at her home. London Express/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
London Express/Getty Images

Marian Anderson: The Most Modest Trailblazer

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript