“The best parts of Ms. Norman’s book are her lyrical evocations of her early life in Augusta, Georgia. She builds a rich portrait of a childhood firmly grounded by family, church and community.” — Wall Street Journal
“[It] is this memoir’s life-affirming richness that most readers will take away – its hard-won wisdom and magnanimity.” — Augusta Chronicle
In Stand Up Straight and Sing!, Jessye Norman recalls in rich detail the strong women who were her role models, from her ancestors to family friends, relatives, and teachers. She hails the importance of her parents in her early learning and experiences in the arts. And she describes coming face-to-face with racism, not just as a child living in the segregated South, but also as an adult out and about in the world.
She speaks of the many who have inspired her and taught her essential life lessons. A special interlude on her key relationship with the pioneering African American singer Marian Anderson reveals the lifelong support that this great predecessor provided through her example of dignity and grace at all times.