Marian Anderson was an opera singer. A contralto, she sang both opera and spirituals, beginning her concert career in 1924 and at first concentrating on Europe.
In 1939, she became a cause célèbre of the civil rights movement when she was banned by the Daughters of the American Revolution from singing in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. The First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, resigned from the DAR in protest and arranged for Anderson to sing at the Lincoln Memorial instead. Anderson made her debut with the Metropolitan Opera Company in 1955 and became a permanent member of the company. ~ William Ruhlmann, Rovi