Black History at Carnegie Hall
At the laying of the building’s cornerstone in 1890, Andrew
Carnegie stated, “Here all good causes may find a platform.” At Carnegie Hall, African Americans
found not racial segregation, but an open forum that, as the Hall’s reputation
continued to rise, helped strengthen recognition of the African American
cultural legacy and its significance.
At the Hall, Booker T. Washington raised funds and
awareness for African American education in more than a dozen appearances;
Marian Anderson made her debut nearly 11 years before being banned from
appearing at Constitution Hall; and Lionel Hampton played with Benny Goodman in
perhaps the first mixed-race ensemble to perform in a major concert venue.
In these and countless other events throughout its 125-year
history, Carnegie Hall has offered its stages to African American culture,
which in turn, has enriched the diverse history of the Hall itself.