Marian Anderson: Once in a Hundred Years

Marian Anderson: Once in a Hundred Years

Sun, 06/28/2020 - 4:00am - 5:00am

Marian Anderson

This film traces the arc of opera singer Marian Anderson’s life and her struggles against racism and poverty.

Marian Anderson is one of the most celebrated opera singers of the 20th century, achieving a career of historic proportions. The celebrated musician was born in South Philadelphia on February 27, 1897. She used her voice to tackle adversity and pave the way for singers of color around the world. A pioneer in the civil rights movement, the world renowned contralto largely contributed to the acceptance of African American women in the performing arts. Anderson had a voice so rare that it was said to only come around “once in a hundred years”. Now, music fans have the opportunity to look back at this iconic vocalist’s journey in Marian Anderson: Once in a Hundred Years, airs Sunday, June 28, 2020 at 4 a.m. on WXXI-TV. 

With a poignant mix of modern-day interviews and black and white footage from Anderson’s career, the program beautifully contrasts past and present. Insight from renowned artists Bill Jolly, Michelle Jenkins and N’Kenge provide a comprehensive look at the impact Anderson had on the world. Featuring a pivotal moment in the civil rights movement, Marian Anderson: Once in a Hundred Years culminates with Anderson’s battle with the Daughters of the American Revolution and her legendary performance at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939.

Anderson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963 and won the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1991. She performed at the inauguration of John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower, sang for the Roosevelt’s at the White House, and made history with her concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Although she passed away in 1993, Anderson’s legacy will be a source of inspiration for years to come.