Chapter Thirteen A SINGER, A SERIOUS MAN, A STANDARD BEARER

AS HITLER TORTURED AND MURDERED the Jews and gobbled up one small country after another, we experienced in Washington a mixture of red tape and prejudice which kept the great Negro contralto, Marian Anderson, from the concert stage in this capital of democracy. She wasn't allowed to sing in the D.A.R. Hall or in the public school auditoriums, but she did sing at the foot of the noble statue of the Emancipator of her race--on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

The idea of having Marian Anderson sing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial originated in the mind of that noble human being, the Assistant Secretary of the Interior, Oscar Chapman. His idea grew out of an incident in his childhood. He was born in Virginia and as a lad in grade school had had a stern lesson in intolerance. He was in the eighth-grade graduating class. The pupils took up a collection to buy a present for their school. Oscar was delegated by

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