The Voice of Freedom

Voice of Freedom interweaves Marian Anderson’s rich life story with this landmark moment in history, exploring fundamental questions about talent, race, fame, democracy, and the American soul.

  • Fred Vigeant
Watch Voice of Freedom on American Experience Monday, February 15 at 9:00pm on WITF. You can stream WITF TV live on our website and through the PBS Video app on Roku, Apple TV and iPhone and Android smartphones. The program is also available on-demand through the PBS Video app.

 

On Easter Sunday, 1939, contralto Marian Anderson stepped up to a microphone in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

Inscribed on the walls of the monument behind her were the words “all men are created equal.” Barred from performing in Constitution Hall because of her race, Anderson would sing for the American people in the open air.

Hailed as a voice that “comes around once in a hundred years” by maestros in Europe and widely celebrated by both white and Black audiences at home, her fame hadn’t been enough to spare her from the indignities and outright violence of racism and segregation.

Voice of Freedom interweaves Anderson’s rich life story with this landmark moment in history, exploring fundamental questions about talent, race, fame, democracy, and the American soul.

Watch Voice of Freedom Monday February 16 at 9:00pm on WITF.

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