A Tempo: Documentary Traces Marian Anderson's Life, Legacy

Feb 4, 2021

Marian Anderson sings on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939.
Credit Courtesy of World History Archive/Alamy Stock Photo

The legendary singer Marian Anderson is most often remembered for her historic performance at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939, an appearance organized in response to the refusal by the Daughters of the American Revolution to allow her to sing at the DAR Constitution Hall. That was just one of many times that the contralto faced racist policies and sentiments throughout her musical education and career, and a new documentary, Voice of Freedom, that premieres Feb. 15 on PBS explores those and the talent and determination that spurred her musical journey from a young rising star in her church choir to "the voice of the century."

A Tempo host Rachel Katz this Saturday (2/6 at 7 pm) gets a look inside the film, speaking with producer Rob Rapley about Anderson, her career and her role in the civil rights movement.