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Heroes: Black Philadelphia Icons | Philadelphia Magazine Six deeply personal essays by Philadelphia African-American writers about figures in the city’s history who deserve much wider acclaim — not to mention statues — in our hometown.

Marian Anderson, African American Opera Singer, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN



When the city erected a statue of Octavius Catto on the apron of City Hall last September last September, it went up with a jaw-dropping distinction: It was the first public monument to a specific African-American in Philadelphia. For a city that’s 44 percent Black, that’s a pretty lousy stat. The city is only in the very early stages of recognizing the contributions of its greatest Black citizens. We asked six African-American writers to tell us about figures in Philly’s history who have had uncommon resonance with them, who inspire them, and who deserve much wider acclaim in our hometown, too. — Edited by Brian Howard

Marian Anderson: A Voice that Shattered Barriers

Her powerful singing changed the world, and it all started downtown. By novelist Diane McKinney-Whetstone.
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KOLUMN Magazine celebrates the lives of People of Color by giving our world texture.

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