Talk:Marian Anderson

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Former good article nominee Marian Anderson was a Music good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
May 31, 2012 Good article nominee Not listed

FBI investigation[edit]

Marian Anderson was the subject of an FBI investigation. Somewhat comically, not only did they get the spelling of her name wrong, they also got her date of birth wrong. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:41, September 3, 2005


Can someone please revert the most recent changes on this article? Someone vandalized it, and I don't think I can revert things...

Nerdpony 21:46, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the alert. I've fixed it. For your future reference, though, you can revert things. See Help:Reverting for some guidelines and practical advice. JamesMLane t c 03:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)


I am surprised at the omissions on Wikipedia on such an internationally famous individual. No mention of her European concert tours, her classical recordings made in Europe on RCA Victor, her marriage to an architect, her relationship with her mother, her famous Connecticut farm where she lived during her most famous touring in America, her lifelong dedication to civil rights BEFORE there was a civil rights movement (ie., insisting on no peanut galleries and allowing Afro-Americans to be seated in same proximity to stage as other races even when laws and customs still required segregation of the races in the theatres, the significance of her appointment as US Ambassador to the United Nations (hired by Ammbasador Imawheiner) when age, race and gender all were restricted, her influence on standardizing the presentation of arranged Negro spirituals in the 20th Century (ie., sheet music arrangements), her operatic career at the Met and recordings, her RCA Victor 78rpm recordings sung in languages other than English, her novelty album of a conversation with her cat issued on RCA Victor, how her church in Philadelphia raised money for a music scholarship for her and eventually she had to go to Europe to perform due to segreation in the United States, the controvery surrounding her retirement from "singing performances" in the 1960's due to a change in her voice, how no one else ever achieved the consistent status, prestige and recognition she received during the decades she performed (ie., there is no one you can compar her with overall), her unassailable ethics and the fact that she lived a "clean life", never touched a drop of liquor or smoked, and her absolute dedication, appreciation and admiration for the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy for most of her adult life (spirituality/religion). The later is the reason for her concealing the actual date of her physical birth as that was not as important to her as how she lived to-day in the present. All of these items are available in various media, especially in back issues of Ebony Magazine and old newspapers and other magazines, college libraries, private photo collections, tour programs, and other library holdings. Also, Marian Anderson toured the country extensively before WW II, including Tuskegee Institute and other historically important places. Also, her operatic career deserves the special attention of a specialist in the history of opera in the 20th Century as does her political affiliation with Eleanor Roosevelt including the United Nations assignment. Also, currently, in the last few years, there is a Marian Anderson award of a substantial amount of money given every year in the City of Philadelphia to someone -- it's like a Nobel Peace Prize but it may just be $100,000 - I'm not sure, but absolutely no mention is made of this but it receives signficant international media coverage when it is awarded and the receipient usually goes to Philadephia, PA to receive the award. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:33, January 25, 2007

Thank you for your suggestion. When you feel an article needs improvement, please feel free to make those changes. Wikipedia is a wiki, so anyone can edit almost any article by simply following the Edit this page link at the top. The Wikipedia community encourages you to be bold in updating pages. Don't worry too much about making honest mistakes — they're likely to be found and corrected quickly. If you're not sure how editing works, check out how to edit a page, or use the sandbox to try out your editing skills. New contributors are always welcome. You don't even need to log in (although there are many reasons why you might want to). You'll make it easier for others to collaborate with you if you take the time to cite your sources. Thanks! JamesMLane t c 07:20, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
marriage? family?Toyokuni3 (talk) 15:49, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

UN Peace Prize[edit]

What is the UN Peace Prize? Paul Studier 07:01, 25 April 2007 (UTC)


Can Someone remove the "all colors" part in the biography. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:53, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

Sibelius chronology[edit]

i find the paragraph on her interactions with sibelius to have a confusing chronology. first it's 1939, then 1933, then i don't know what. needs fixing.Toyokuni3 (talk) 04:52, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree. I went ahead and tried re-arranging things as well as adding some material. I hope it works well now.Nrswanson (talk) 21:25, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

for what?[edit]

The District of Columbia Board of Education declined a request to use the auditorium of a white public high school. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:30, 26 August 2009 (UTC)


Any sentence that includes the weasel word "celebrated" needs to be quoted and attributed. For example something like "Opera historian Joe Schmoe has called Marian Anderson 'the most celebrated singer of the twentieth century'" satisfies WP:NPOV. Saying just flat out "Marian Anderson is one of the most celebrated singers ...." is not compliant with WP:NPOV and if we keep stuff like that that in the article it will never get up to GA. Copana2002 (talk) 18:07, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

In this case I don't think celebrated needs an attribution by virtue of the highly impressive and lengthy lists of awards and honors that Anderson is the recipient of. Can an artist who has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Kennedy Center Honors, the National Medal of Arts, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, and dozens of other honors not be considered celebrated? Copana2002 your viewpoint is an overly pedantic application of wikipedia policy and a perfect example of where wikipedia's rules and policies can steamroll over common sense and what best serves the overall accurate perspective on this article's subject rather than fulfilling what those rules and policies originally were intended for.Singingdaisies (talk) 18:12, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
"Award-winning" would be an acceptable moniker (it's a fact), but "celebrated" is a weasel word and an opinion and needs to be attributed. For example, look at the opening sentences in Wikipedia:Avoid peacock terms and WP:WEASEL esp. "...the term specifically refers to words or phrases that seemingly support statements without attributing opinions to verifiable sources. They give the force of authority to a phrase or a sentence without letting the reader decide whether the source of the opinion is reliable." It definitely applies in this case. Surely, we can find an opera authority who has commented on Anderson's status/reputation and attribute it to him/her and have a neutral lead. If a portion of an article would cause said article to fail GAC it needs to be changed or removed (of course this article isn't even up to B Class yet). Copana2002 (talk) 18:31, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Both of those policy's refer to using words outside of context or in a vague way. In this case the whole lead clearly established how and why she was a celebrated artist; so I don't even think the sentence is necessarily a violation of WP:Weasel or WP:Peacock. If you think an attributed quote would be better than by all means find one, add it, and replace the current sentence. Until then, I don' see how this sentence could be viewed as a POV violation and it should stay.Singingdaisies (talk) 18:40, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Well, to me the use of "celebrated" outside of a quote is vague, but I guess it just boils down to our different interpretations of Wiki guidelines. I guess we will just have to agree to disagree. The thing that bothers me is that I really think that this sentence would prevent the article from being passing a higher level review. Copana2002 (talk) 19:14, 20 September 2009 (UTC)
Usually the article goes through changes anyway during a GA or FA review process. I am more concerned with what best serves the article now. In my view having a sentence stating this particular fact is essential. Like I said, I am not opposed to switching it out with an attributed quote but removing it all together without anything saying relatively the same thing is a bad idea.Singingdaisies (talk) 19:28, 20 September 2009 (UTC)

Frequent vandalism[edit]

I suggest that this article be semi-protected allowing only registered editors to make edits due to the large amount of vandalism from unregistered users. Markhh (talk) 22:45, 9 February 2010 (UTC)


Consistent with practice on many articles on artists, this page had no infobox. One was added, which I reverted, and will now revert again. There should be a discussion here before changes of this nature are made. See Wikipedia:WikiProject Classical music/Style guidelines#Biographical infoboxes. Please discuss and obtain consensus before adding one,. Kablammo (talk) 12:31, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

No prior discussion is required before editing Wikipedia. The guideline you cite is not binding on this article (nor, indeed, on any other article). Likewise, the supposed "practice on many articles on artists" (actually, a minority of biographical articles). Please explain why you think the infobox is not suited to this article. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:38, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
Before making changes likely to be conroversial (such as infoboxes on artist's pages) there should be dicussion. We should not appeal to what is "binding". but rather to comity (and not in the legal sense of that term). And thank you for coming here to discuss.

I think an infoxbox contributes nothing to what is already in the text, indeed in the first line, other than places of birth and death. Depending on what fields are used, they lead to compartmentalization and undue emphasis. The infobox you put in does not use many fields, but it is trite to list "instrument" as her voice. Kablammo (talk) 12:49, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Agree current state, no info box is TRTTD, same as other artists of her calibre. (talk) 12:59, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
This is not a vote. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:25, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
It is you who appealed to supposed "prior determination". With one exception, the points you make are not about this article that point about |Instrument=, could be resolved by blanking that parameter, rather then removing the whole infobox. Alternatively, I'd be content with replacement by {{Infobox person}}, using, say, |Known_for= to contain her contraltoness. BTW, I note that you have canvassed one project without notifying others that may be interested; I trust you'll soon put that right? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:25, 9 April 2012 (UTC)
I note that Kablammo has recently edited this page, but ignored the above request. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:09, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Of course this is not a vote, but hopefully it should be a consensus of interested editors. For what it is worth, I also agree with Kablammo, and I don't think that having seen this on WP Opera disqualifies me from commenting; Andy Mabbett still needs to explain exactly what his proposal adds to the article. 'Known for her contraltoness'? - that is in the first words of the lead. Nor do I see that Kablammo, Andy Mabbett, or anyone else, is disqualified from communicating this issue to any other relevant Wikipedia Project. Actually Wikipedia is supposed (at least in part) to be about getting interested and informed parties together...isn't it?--Smerus (talk) 05:56, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

I also agree with Kablammo's approach on this. Considering past history — dating back to at least 2007 — I was dismayed to see Andy Mabbett's involvement. My understanding was that Andy Mabbett had agreed not to revisit the scene of his past battles. --Kleinzach 08:22, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Neither your ad hominem remarks nor your delusional imaginings are relevant here. Fascinating that you think you;re entitled to comment, and I'm not, though. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:07, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Actually it is a vote. that's the way Wiki works, by consensus of the interested editors. Unless you bought Wikipedia or have some other basis for asserting such authority. (talk) 10:36, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I also believe that this is indeed decided by vote; how else is consensus established or measured? There is no requirement for biography articles to have an infobox, and I agree with others here that such a box adds nothing to the article but only gives rise to future edit wars and discussions on what should be in it. -- Michael Bednarek (talk) 11:52, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
See WP:CONSENSUS. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:07, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
(ec)This is not a vote, and that is not how Wikipedia works. Our core polices are the reason for asserting so. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:07, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I also do not support the inclusion of an infobox in this article (which FYI I am the primary contributor to the article's current prose content; not that that means anything). My reasoning is summed up in WP:DISINFO.4meter4 (talk) 12:15, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
I don't see what is against having an infobobox, I find that they provide a handy "brief overview" section for a biographical article. As for DISINFO: careful wording of the infobox should prevent this from happening. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 13:50, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Guillaume, a Wiki convention is established that Artists don't have them, look around and you'll see. (talk) 15:01, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
A "wikiconvention"?? Look around, and you'll see infoboxes all over the place, including many musicians. It looks to me that there's a widespread consensus in the WP community about the utility of infoboxes. --Guillaume2303 (talk) 15:09, 10 April 2012 (UTC)
Poppycock. There are over 7000 articles using {{Infobox artist}} [1]; over 65,000 using {{Infobox musical artist}} [2]; plus many others, about artists, using other infoboxes. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:08, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

I join those opposing addition of the infobox. While there is no consensus against adding the infobox (two of the eight participants in this discsussion support the addition), there is certainly no consensus for it. Since the addition is viewed by the involved editors as controversial, I suggest that Andy and Guillaume need a consensus before making the change. --Ravpapa (talk) 19:18, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

While I find infoboxes useful and informative, in this particular article, I think it should be left off.  The Steve  03:13, 16 April 2012 (UTC)

There is a consensus. Consensus doesn't imply unanimity. (talk) 16:18, 22 April 2012 (UTC)

GA nomination[edit]

INfobox or not, this article deserves GA. I have nominated it. --Ravpapa (talk) 04:02, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

A pretty, pretty article[edit]

I am really split on the infobox matter. Both add and subtract from the article, so I don't know why everyone's fighting over it.

But, boy oh boy, it sure looks nice with all that prose and the lede image just the way it is now. I would add some distance between the two images at the "Midlife and career" section. Plus, guidelines don't like the top left image at the "Later life" section, though somehow it seems quite acceptable.

Anyway, as someone who creates plenty of ugly lists and articles lacking in decent prose, I love this article. I am becoming a convert. Well done to those responsible. :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 05:32, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Marion Freschl[edit]

According to Freschl's obit in the New York Times, Anderson studied singing with Freschl. I have not been able to find out exactly when and where Anderson studied with her though, and Freschl is currently not mentioned in Anderson's article. Can anyone help?4meter4 (talk) 00:30, 11 February 2014 (UTC)