Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands

An in-depth exploration of African- American contralto Marian Anderson and her achievements as a pioneering artist and civil rights figure, presented in the context of the cultural and racial upheavals she experienced at home and abroad. Anderson’s voice was unique– famed conductor Arturo Toscanini said that it was a voice “to hear only once in a hundred years.” Banned from singing at the Daughters of the American Revolution’s Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. in 1939, she became an inspiration to the growing civil rights movement and an icon, thanks to her subsequent performances. The “Freedom Concert,” when she sang to a vast, interracial crowd on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial not only inspired a young Martin Luther King, Jr., then a 10-year-old audience member, but helped inaugurate the relatively new Memorial as the center of American protest for generations to come. Production funding from the NEH. A co-production with Philip Gittelman Pictures; directed by Rita Coburn.