Marion Anderson Tribute

Det er 70 år siden Marian Anderson sang på trappene til Lincoln Memorial i Washington, påskesøndag 1939. Som mange vil huske, ikke minst siden det ble referert i forbindelse med Barack Obamas presidentinnsettelse, fikk hun, av rasemessige grunner, ikke synge i Constitution Hall. Senere i dag vil det bli en markering av jubileet, og her er film fra begivenheten i 1939, der Marian Anderson synger “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee”:

Og gitt årets politiske begivenheter, her er en slags cover, med Aretha Franklin, tatt fra Obamas innsettelse:

Den absolutt vakreste beskrivelsen av Andersons opptreden jeg vet om finnes i romanform, nærmere bestemt i Richard Powers’ The Time of Our Singing (2003):

“Again, the crowd surges forward, a great wave needing only to sweep over and drown her. This time, she lets them. She may forget. But time reorders all. A lightness rises, a way point in this gathering sea of dark, the darkness that belonging itself has made. For a moment, here, now, stretching down the length of the reflecting pool, bending along an arc from the shaft of the Washington Monument to the base of the Lincoln Memorial, curing down the banks to the Potomac behind her, a state takes shape, ad hoc, improvised, revolutionary free – a notion, a nation, that, for a few measures, in song at least, is everything it claims to e. This is the place her voice creates. The one in the words that come back to her at last. That sweet, elusive thee. Of thee I sing.”

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