Carol J. Oja F'16, G'88

Carol J. Oja
William Powell Mason Professor
Music and American Studies
Harvard University

ACLS Fellowship Program 2016
Music and American Studies
Harvard University
Black Virtuosos and Civil Rights: Racial Desegregation of the Concert Hall and Opera Stage after World War II

In the decades immediately after World War II, African-American virtuosos of classical music joined the battle for civil rights by challenging racial segregation in the largely white world of concert performance. This study probes their collective experiences, confronting racial silences in existing histories of the Metropolitan Opera and New York Philharmonic. Chosen for their diverse professional odysseys, the project focuses on the singers Marian Anderson, Reri Grist, Robert McFerrin, Leontyne Price, and William Warfield, and the conductor Everett Lee, Jr. While New York City is the study’s primary site, because of the impact of European exile and the artistic validation and political pressure that resulted from international tours with the State Department, its scope is global.

ACLS Grants-In-Aid 1988
Assistant Professor
City University of New York, Brooklyn College
New music in New York, 1920-1930