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Social Studies Middle School

Jim Crow in the 1930s: Marian Anderson and Our Nation's Capital

In 1939 Marian Anderson an African-American opera singer was prevented from singing to an integrated audience at Constitution Hall. At the time, Washington DC was a segregated city but didn't have the "Whites Only" signs familiar in the South. Anderson instead performed an outdoor concert at the Lincoln Memorial. This audio story describes the controversy over a recent children’s book about Anderson’s concert at the Lincoln Memorial that showed “Colored Only” signs in place in public places. You'll hear from people living in the capital at the time talk about when the de facto racial segregation that did exist in the city was exposed when Marian Anderson was not allowed to sing in Constitution Hall.

US History II Civil RIghts Race Arts Culture

Story Length: 5:40

Listen to the Story:


Rebecca Sheir, distributed by PRX

AIR DATE: 01/26/2012

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