25 Marian Anderson Quotes on Resilience & Music

Add harmony to your life with these inspiring Marian Anderson quotes!

Marian Anderson is a well-known personality, famous for her talent and resilience.

She is considered to be a pioneer of African-American contralto.

Her struggle has helped humanity to break the racial barriers and fight for civil rights.

Marian was born on February 27, 1897, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

She passed through various obstacles while becoming a revered and celebrated classical singer.

With her mesmerizing voice, she used to captivate the audience.

Early Life

Since her young age, Marian Anderson loved music.

She spent the early days of her life in a low-income neighborhood.

So, she couldn’t gain formal training from a music teacher.

However, with her deep passion, she continued to perform at different local events.

This led to the initial popularity of Marian as a powerful singer.

She faced various hurdles while pursuing her passion for music.

Marian was sometimes discouraged from performing at popular venues because she was black.

Breakthrough Performance 

It was in 1939 when Marian Anderson managed to get her first breakthrough.

Her life took an abrupt turn when she received an offer to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.

However, at the last moment, the organizers withdrew the invitation.

The decision was reversed due to the race of Marian Anderson. 

This resulted in an outrage across the nation.

The revolt helped to draw the attention of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

She and other activists arranged a program for Marian Anderson to perform at the Lincoln Memorial.

So, on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, she performed in front of 75,000 people. 

International Recognition

After her performance at the Lincoln Memorial, Marian gained instant popularity throughout the globe.

She performed in Europe and other areas of the world. 

In 1955, she emerged as the first African-American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.

This was another significant milestone achieved by her. 

During her career, she received a variety of awards, honors, and accolades, including:

  • The Presidential Medal of Freedom (1963) 
  • The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (1991)
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Top 5 Marian Anderson Quotes 

Here are the top quotes from Marian Anderson that are worth reading.

1. “You lose a lot of time hating people.” — Marian Anderson

2. “Prayer begins where human capacity ends.” — Marian Anderson

3. “I have a great belief in the future of my people and my country.” — Marian Anderson

4. “Fear is a disease that eats away at logic and makes man inhuman.” — Marian Anderson

5. “When you stop having dreams and ideals – well, you might as well stop altogether.” — Marian Anderson

Quotes About Facing Racism 

Marian Anderson herself faced racism in society.

In the quotes below, she shared her experience of dealing with racism.

6. “I could not run away from the situation. I had become, whether I liked it or not, a symbol representing my people. I had to appear.” — Marian Anderson

7. “None of us is responsible for the complexion of his skin. This fact of nature offers no clue to the character or quality of the person underneath.” — Marian Anderson

8. “When I sing, I don’t want them to see that my face is black; I don’t want them to see that my face is white – I want them to see my soul. And that is colorless.” — Marian Anderson

9. “Sometimes racial prejudice is like a hair across your cheek. You can’t see it, you can’t find it with your fingers, but you keep brushing it because the feel of it is irritating.” — Marian Anderson

10. “I do not have to tell you that I dearly love the Negro spirituals. They are the unburdenings of the sorrows of an entire race, which, finding scant happiness on Earth, turns to the future for its joys.” — Marian Anderson 

Marian Anderson Quotes About Leadership Qualities

Leadership has several qualities associated with it.

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Here are some great quotes by Marian Anderson about leadership qualities.

11. “Leadership is based on inspiration, not domination; on cooperation, not intimidation.” — Marian Anderson

12. “Leadership should be born out of the understanding of the needs of those who would be affected by it.” — Marian Anderson

13. “If you have a purpose in which you can believe, there’s no end to the amount of things you can accomplish.” — Marian Anderson

14. “The minute a person whose word means a great deal dares to take the open-hearted and courageous way, many others follow.” — Marian Anderson

15. “No matter how big a nation is, it is no stronger than its weakest people, and as long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold him down, so it means you cannot soar as you might otherwise.” — Marian Anderson

Marian Anderson was deeply interested in music and made her name in it.

Here are some of her quotes related to music.

16. “Music is the anchor that keeps me sane when I feel like I’m losing it.” — Marian Anderson

17. “I had no specific bent toward music as a child, but I grew up in a family where music was part of the household.” — Marian Anderson

18. “They are my own music. But it is not for that reason that I love to sing them. I love them because they are truly spiritual in quality; they give forth the aura of faith, simplicity, humility, and hope.” — Marian Anderson

19. “Music to me means so much, such beautiful things, and it seemed impossible that you could find people who would curb you, stop you, from doing a thing which is beautiful. I wasn’t trying to sway anybody into any movements or anything of that sort. I just wanted to sing and share.” — Marian Anderson

20. “Certainly, I have my feelings about conditions that affect my people. But it is not right for me to mimic somebody who writes or speaks. That is their forte. I think first of music and of being there where music is and of music is where I am. What I had was singing, and if my career has been of some consequence, then that’s my contribution.” — Marian Anderson

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Marian Anderson Quotes Full of Sagacity 

These Marian Anderson quotes are full of sagacity; you must go through them to learn valuable knowledge and wisdom.

21. “You can’t build a chimney from the top, you know.” — Marian Anderson

22. “When you stop having dreams and ideals–well, you might as well stop altogether.” — Marian Anderson

23. “As long as you keep a person down, some part of you has to be down there to hold the person down, so it means you cannot soar as you otherwise might.” — Marian Anderson

24. “Prejudice: Sometimes it’s like a hair across your cheek. You can’t see it, you can’t find it with your fingers, but you keep brushing at it because the feel of it is irritating.” — Marian Anderson

25. “Sometimes you’re overwhelmed when a thing comes, and you do not realize the magnitude of the affair at that moment. When you get away from it, you wonder, did it really happen to you.” — Marian Anderson

Which One of these Marian Anderson Quotes is your Favorite? 

We hope you have liked our list of Marian Anderson quotes. 

These quotes are carefully selected to offer you the best possible experience.

Most of the quotes listed above are relevant and inspiring. 

In addition, the quotes are provided under their specific sections. 

This will help you find your favorite Marian Anderson quotes.

If you have come across a quote that inspires you the most, do share it with us via the comments section.

We are looking forward to your reply.

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