February marks the beginning of acknowledging colossal contributions of African Americans throughout the history of the United States. Ms. Marian Anderson (1897-1993), was the first African American contralto, on April 9, 1939; she performed in concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Anderson was named as a permanent member of the Metropolitan Opera Company in “1955” and the first African American to sing at the White House. In “1963” Ms. Anderson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Another marking of the first African American contribution rested with the national pass time itself, football. Mr. Willie Thrower was the first African American quarterback for the Chicago Bears, playing in only one football game in 1953. He retired at the age of 27.
With Super Bowl XLVII fresh in the minds of many Americans, celebrating those who have paved the way in the field of entertainment is rather fitting. Super Bowl spectators were given an opportunity to witness outstanding performances of Ms. Alicia Keys who began the Bowl, by signing the United States National anthem, followed by Chicago’s own Ms. Jennifer Hudson who sang “American the Beautiful” accompanied by the Sandy Hook Elementary School 26 member choir.
The highlight of the evening belonged to Beyonce, with raw energy and a voice that has the ability to penetrate the soul, presented a phenomenal performance. Many in the twitter community now refer to her as being, the greatest performer ever and questions regarding her ability to sing live, are now null and void. Not only did the spectacular performance demonstrate the ingredients of a “star”, it was Beyonce’s display of true showmanship by sharing such a dazzling moment with Destiny Child members, Ms. Kelly Rowland and, Ms. Michelle Williams, which provided the shine from which “stars” are made of.
Learn more about First Contributions of African Americans