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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
Pioneers in Entertainment

Pioneers in Entertainment
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.84

     challenging words:    mega-successful, comedian, best, sitcom, heading, triumph, comedy, all-time, billionaire, dramatic, reading, presented, discrimination, sincere, public, series
     content words:    Marian Anderson, Metropolitan Opera, In Europe, United States, Constitution Hall, Eleanor Roosevelt, President Roosevelt, Lincoln Memorial, Spy TV, Fat Albert

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Pioneers in Entertainment
By Sharon Fabian

1     Pioneers are brave people. They're not afraid to try new things. Whether they were pioneer families heading out west in the 1800s or modern day pioneers, these people have one thing in common - determination. They know what they want, and they have faith in their own abilities to get them there. They work hard, learn what they need to learn, and do what they need to do to achieve their goals.
2     Marian Anderson was a pioneer. She was a singer who loved both spirituals and classical music. She rose to become the first African-American permanent member of the Metropolitan Opera and to sing in the best concert halls all over the world, but along the way she had to face discrimination at every turn. That is one reason why she made the decision to spend large parts of her singing career in Europe where she was treated with respect. In Europe, she stayed in the finest hotels; when she returned to the United States, she was forced to stay in cheap hotels or with friends. In Europe she did not have to face constant discrimination; in the U.S., her concert schedule always depended on where blacks were allowed to perform. In a now famous incident in the U.S., she was not allowed to sing at a concert scheduled for Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Eleanor Roosevelt, the wife of President Roosevelt, decided to do something about it and arranged for her to sing at the Lincoln Memorial. Finally this country began to recognize Marian Anderson for the great artist that she was.
3     Bill Cosby is a pioneer, too. Besides being an actor, a comedian, and an educator, Cosby is a father figure to many people who watched his TV shows. Cosby grew up poor and dropped out of high school, but he didn't let his fortunes end there. He developed his comedy routines and took the risks of trying whatever opportunities presented themselves. He won a role as a dramatic actor on the I Spy TV series. He developed cartoons featuring some of his favorite characters like Fat Albert and Old Weird Harold. Soon, he was starring in his own family sitcom, The Bill Cosby Show (1969-71). By this time, he had become a star, but Bill Cosby didn't stop there. He continued his education and earned a PhD in education. More hit TV shows followed. Cosby, who had been the first African-American to star in a dramatic TV series, was now loved by TV audiences all over the country. His character of Cliff Huxtable on The Cosby Show became an all-time favorite.

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Black History and Blacks in U.S. History
             Black History and Blacks in U.S. History

United States
             United States

    American Government  
    Black History and Blacks in U.S. History  
    Children in History  
    Government Careers  
    Hispanic Heritage  
    How Can I Help?  
    National Parks and Monuments  
    Native Americans  
    Presidents of the United States  
    Women's History  

United States History
    A Nation Divided
    A New Nation
    After the Civil War
    American Revolution  
    Cold War
    Colonial America (1492-1776)  
    Lewis and Clark
    Pearl Harbor  
    Spanish American War (1898)  
    The 1890's  
    The 1900's  
    The 1910's  
    The 1920's  
    The 1930's  
    The 1940's  
    The 1950's  
    The 1960's  
    The 1970's  
    The 1980's  
    The 1990's  
    The 2000's  
    The Civil War
    The Great Depression
    The United States Grows
    The War of 1812  
    Wild, Wild West  
    World War I
    World War II  

50 States

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