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Jeri Chase Ferris


What I Had Was Singing

What I Had Was Singing

WHAT I HAD WAS SINGING – A biography of Marian Anderson

Written by Jeri Chase Ferris
Published by Carolrhoda Books, Inc., Minneapolis
First published in 1994, now in 5th hardcover printing

Winner of the Carter G. Woodson Award for “most distinguished book written for young readers depicting ethnic diversity in the United States”

1994 Kirkus Reviews Best of the Issue

National Council of the Social Studies/Children’s Book Council Notable
Children’s Trade Book in the Field of Social Studies

Public Library Association Top Titles for Adult New Readers

California Readers Collection

Available at Barnes & Noble and on Amazon

Marian Anderson's great Easter Sunday concert in 1939 was one of the opening events of the Civil Rights movement in the United States. Ms. Anderson, one of the world's greatest contraltos, was not allowed to eat in most public restaurants in the southern U.S., was not allowed to stay in hotels in southern OR northern U.S., was not even allowed to travel in a pleasant, regular American train car – all because of the color of her skin. Nevertheless, she loved her country passionately. She opened her Easter Sunday concert with "My Country, 'Tis of Thee – Sweet land of liberty ..." Did she herself experience liberty? WHAT I HAD WAS SINGING tells her story.

And the reviewers love it too! They say:

WHAT I HAD WAS SINGING "[Marian Anderson] is eloquently portrayed... meticulously researched, told in moving but unsentimental prose." - Kirkus Review, pointer review (Yay!)
"...triumphant portrait... warm and informative..." - Horn Book Guide



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