Josh Brasted/FilmMagicQueen Latifah is being honored with the Marian Anderson Award, named after the trailblazing opera singer who in 1955 became the first African-American to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
Latifah will receive the award at the 20th anniversary Marian Anderson Award Gala on November 20 in Philadelphia,
“Queen Latifah is an excellent role model and clearly a well-deserving recipient of this prestigious honor,” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney tells Philly.com. “I can’t think of anyone more vibrant and responsive.”
The Marian Anderson Award honors “critically acclaimed artists who have impacted society in a positive way.” Past recipients include Oprah Winfrey, Quincy Jones, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Maya Angelou.
Born in Philadelphia, Anderson was involved in the civil rights movement movement of the 1960s, and sang at the March on Washington in 1963 where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his historic “I Have A Dream” speech. Her numerous honors include the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1963, the Congressional Gold Medal in 1977, the Kennedy Center Honors in 1978, the National Medal of Arts in 1986, and a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
“She played a vital role in the acceptance of African American musicians in the classical music world and culture,” Willa Hightower, chair of the Marian Anderson Award board, tells Philly.com. “Her grace and [veracity] remains a model for all of us.”
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