She was an African American Opera singer who was not allowed to sing at a DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) event because of her color. Eleanor Roosevelt was so insulted by this decision that she cancelled her own membership in the DAR, then scheduled Marian to sing at an event at a national monument. These words from Marian help us understand the power we have when we exercise our own courage. FYI, Marian later sang at the Lincoln Memorial during Martin Luther King’s walk of freedom and became the voice for the Civil Rights Movement. No one ever prevented her from signing again because of her color.
Awful things happen all the time. They will continue to happen unless someone gets mad, takes action and makes things right. It means making a choice to stand up and fight instead of just sitting there and being mad. We have all had those moments. The ones that make our blood boil. More often than we realize, we have the power to do something to make it better. It means getting over our fear. It means not worrying about what other people think. It means having the guts, the chutzpah, the wherewithal to take action. And it means standing up for people who may not be able to stand up for themselves due to circumstances beyond their control. Marian was minimized and powerless, so it took another woman with power to step up and do something to get Marian’s voice heard.
I do not know if Marian Anderson reached out to Eleanore Roosevelt, or how that transpired. Good news is once Eleanor heard what happened she got mad and took a stand. She chose the open-hearted, generous way to support an incredible singer, allowing her to inspire and vocalize the needs of a movement. Someone has to step beyond the narrow minded and push things forward, no matter the consequences. Maybe today that someone is you?
Four more posts until I have completed one thousand pieces of art. Whew! I still have more work to do, so stay tuned!