A Singer Who Overcame Discrimination

I’m ashamed to say I knew nothing about Barbara Smith Conrad, who died this week at 79, and am grateful to this Washington Post article for remedying my ignorance. Conrad, an acclaimed mezzo soprano, sang on the most illustrious stages of the world, from New York’s Metropolitan Opera to the Vienna State Opera. But it was the stage upon which she did not perform — as a 19-year-old student at the University of Texas at Austin in 1957 — that propelled her to national attention as a musical talent and in the civil rights movement.

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