Susan B. Anthony and Marian Anderson Essay

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If you ask a child what their greatest dream is they might say to fly to the moon, or it’s possible they might say they want to be the world’s most famous singer. If you were to ask Susan B. Anthony and Marian Anderson what their dreams consisted of they would say the dream of equality. For Susan, she dreamed of equal rights among women. Marian on the other hand, dreamed of being able to be recognized for her singing ability and not the pigment of her skin. In times of doubt, dreams are the only things we have to look forward to, although they consist of many hardships and challenges if it wasn’t for a “dream” we might not have the privileges we sometimes take for granted today.

After Being Convicted of Voting in the 1872 Presidential Election by Susan B. Anthony is a speech given by a woman who believed everyone should have the right to vote, no matter their gender! The year is 1872 and it’s coming close to the presidential election between Ulysses S. Grant and Horace Greeley. Susan and her sisters walked into a voter registration office demanding to be able to register to vote. When the men denied to allow her to vote she persisted and said ‘If you refuse us our rights as citizens, I will bring charges against you in Criminal Court and I will sue each of you personally for large, exemplary damages!’ (The Trial of Susan B. Anthony for Illegal Voting by Doug Linder)

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After she was arrested for casting what was deemed as an illegal vote at the time (After Being Convicted of Voting in the 1872 Presidential Election) she wrote a compelling argument in the defense of a women’s right to vote stating “We, the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” (After Being Convicted of Voting in the 1872 Presidential Election) Her dream of equality led the country to acknowledge women the same as men. Whether you agree with her statement or not, because of her willingness to fight for what she believed in and fulfill her dreams of women being able to vote, women now have the rights that once were forbidden.

The Voice That Challenged a Nation by Russell Freedman explores the dream of Marian Anderson and her determination to become a singer despite the racial difficulties at the time. Although she was extremely talented, her financial status and skin color limited her and her family. She held onto her dream of becoming something and eventually became the first African American singer to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. (Marian Anderson Biography) No matter how talented she was, she faced racial discrimination.

When she was invited to participate in a gala performance in Georgia State she had a different understanding of the laws down south for black singers. “She had never visited the Deep South before, and on this trip, for the first time, she experienced the strict ‘Jim Crow’ laws that enforced racial segregation throughout the South.” (The Voice That Challenged a Nation) Despite the difficulties, she managed to impress the audience and achieve her dreams. Her singing coach whom her town came together to pay predicted her success and remained her coach for years to come.

Both Susan and Marian fought for what they dreamed and believed in. Through the struggles were great they achieved the ultimate goal of equality. Marian was the first African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera. Susan is the person who changed the nation and ultimately is the one to credit for women’s right to vote. Because of their sacrifice and determination the world is a better place. You may ask what I learned from them and what I truly say is they are equally an inspiration for everyone to never give up hope and to follow your dreams.

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