My Lord, what a Morning: An Autobiography

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University of Illinois Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 319 pages
My Lord, What a Morning is a gentle and engrossing memoir, abounding with the tender and inspiring stories of Marian Anderson's life in her own modest words. From her humble but proud beginnings in south Philadelphia to international vocal renown, the legendary contralto writes of triumph and adversity, of being grounded in faith and surrounded by family, and of the music that shaped her career.
Anderson published My Lord, What a Morning in 1956 on the heels of her groundbreaking role as the first African American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. In it are bittersweet reminiscences of a working-class childhood, from her first job scrubbing the neighbors' steps to the sorrow and upheaval of her father's untimely death. Here are the stories of a young girl with prodigious talent, and her warm remembrances of the teachers, managers, friends, accompanists, and fans who worked to foster it. Here is a veritable travelogue of her concerts across the globe and rare glimpses at the personal life of a woman more concerned with family than celebrity.
An entire chapter devoted to the Easter concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 reveals Anderson's immense respect for Eleanor Roosevelt, who resigned from the Daughters of the American Revolution when they refused to let Anderson perform at Constitution Hall. Supplanting sorrow and regret for anger and violence, Anderson demurely imparts her views on discrimination and on becoming an icon in the struggle for civil rights.
With eleven photographs and a touching new foreword by Anderson's nephew, famed conductor and poet James DePreist, this new paperback edition of My Lord, What a Morning revives the classic portrait of a musical legend who was resilient in the bullying face of bigotry and gracious in the unfaltering glow of fame.

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User Review  - CasaBooks - LibraryThing

My Lord, What a Woman! Published in 1956. Difficult to remember just how segregated the south, our country, the world was at that time. Immense admiration for this artist who conducted herself without ... Read full review

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User Review  - cammykitty - LibraryThing

I'm a little conflicted about writing a review of Marian Anderson's My Lord, What a Morning. I feel like I should give it five stars just because it contains words written by a beautiful person who ... Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Marian Anderson (1897-1993) was an internationally renowned contralto and an icon in the civil rights movement. James DePreist is Music Director of the Oregon Symphony and regularly performs with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, and the New York Philharmonic. He is the recipient of thirteen honorary doctorates and the author of two collections of poetry.

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