WASHINGTON – Marian Anderson couldn't sing at Constitution Hall or even a local high school because of the color of her skin. So the opera singer performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in April 1939 and sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee."
Unlike other events then, the 75,000-person crowd that had gathered to hear the African-American woman sing wasn't segregated. Blacks and whites stood together. Senators and Supreme Court justices also came on that Easter Sunday. The event came to symbolize the ideal of America's racial equality.
On Sunday afternoon, 70 years later, there will be another free concert at the Lincoln Memorial, this one designed to commemorate the 1939 landmark event. The Sunday concert will incorporate songs from Anderson's event and remember its significance during America's era of segregation.
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