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Washington Post

MARIAN ANDERSON’S LINCOLN MEMORIAL CONCERT WASN’T THE MOMENT OF SOCIAL RECONCILIATION WE LIKE TO THINK. With one little click, suddenly I was down the memory hole. I had been writing about the symbolic use and abuse of the Lincoln Memorial, about its basic message of reconciliation and how some politicians have co-opted it for their own, divisive agenda. I mentioned, in passing, Marian Anderson, whose 1939 open-air concert at the memorial helped launch the modern civil rights movement. And it suddenly occurred to me that it had been a long time, way too long, since I had revisited Anderson’s performance.

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