Mezzo-soprano opera singer whose profession offers spanned fifty years and includes singing in Don Carlo and Ernani. She was the receiver of a Kennedy Middle Honor in ’09 2009. She earned a competition that granted her a scholarship or grant to Boston College or university. She was Venus at Bayreuth, casted by Wieland Wagner. She helped pave just how for African-American opera performers. She was created into a category of moderate means; her dad worked like a railroad porter and her mom was a housewife. She and Aretha Franklin both are believed leaders within their musical styles, placing a precedent for African-American ladies in the industry.