1959 : Marian Anderson, 1st African American Commencement Speaker at University of Michigan

When:
June 12, 2018 all-day
2018-06-12T00:00:00-04:00
2018-06-13T00:00:00-04:00

Marian Anderson, 1st African American Commencement Speaker at University of Michigan

Courtesy photo | University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library

Marian Anderson spoke at the University of Michigan’s commencement ceremony on June 12, 1959. She was the first black person to be invited as the commencement speaker.

Anderson made history when she sang a concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial April 9, 1939 after being refused admittance to sing at the Daughters of the American Revolution Hall at Howard University.

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt invited Anderson to sing on Easter Sunday at the Lincoln Memorial instead.

Source: Kullen Logsdon, “Notable Washtenaw County Figures“, MLive, February 26, 2018.

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