Friday, May 30, 2008

Marian Anderson Lets Freedom Ring At The Lincoln Memorial

Even though the famed 1939 appearance of contralto Marian Anderson on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial took place on Easter Sunday - April 9th - I decided to post this clip of her performance here not to commemorate that event, but to show what the memorial stands for.

While most of the Presidential monuments - those to Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln - hearken back to classical times, they represent very modern ideals. Washington's obelisk suggests a singularity of purpose (in this case, that of the man himself) without which the Revolution that forged the nation might never have succeeded; Jefferson's pantheon suggests inclusion as befits the author of the phrase "all men are created equal", while Lincoln's Grecian temple (like the man himself) represents the very pillars upon which democracy rests, namely that of people standing together in support of a common goal.
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