Thanks for stopping by and taking time out of your day to read my post. My intent is to put a smile on your face. Hopefully you’ll go away with some information you may have forgotten about or did not know. Now sit back and enjoy.
Marian was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania back in 1897 to John and Annie. Her father sold ice and opened up a small business selling liquor. Her mother cared for small children. Both parents were devout Christians and the whole family was active in the Union Baptist Church. At the tender age of six with the urging of her aunt Mary and her father’s sister she started her career.
She attended Staton Grammar School, however the family could not afford to send her to high school. She practiced her profession where she got the attention of the People’s Church pastor. He convinced the community to raise the money she needed to attend high school where she graduated from the South Philadelphia High School in 1921.
In the early 1930’s she moved to Europe where her career took off. She came back to the U.S. in 1935 where she met Albert Einstein and he hosted her on many occasions. In 1939 she was refused to perform at Construction Hall. I might tell you now that she was a black singer. The refusal by the Daughters of the American Revolution caused then First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to resign from the organization. Her fame spread and as a result of her singing abilities she was awarded several accolades including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Oh I almost forgot how about the NAACP Spingarn Medal, the Handel Medallion, the Congressional Gold Medal. The George Peabody Medal. In 1980 the United States Treasury Department coined a half-ounce gold commemorative medal with her likeness. One last thing she was the first recipient of the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award. She died in 1993 at 96 from congestive heart failure. Not bad, not bad at all for the daughter of an ice salesman.