Anderson’s My Lord, What a Morning begins with her early childhood, giving some attention to her grandmother, into whose three-story home her mother moved her and her four sisters after their father’s death. Her grandmother kept them and several other relatives and their children, allowing the young parents to work. Anderson’s mother, to whom she dedicates the autobiography, sacrificed much to give her girls as much as possible. Sometimes, she would take in laundry, and Anderson would deliver it. Money was scarce, and times were hard, but these early days laid a firm foundation for the struggles that she would face as an aspiring artist. Anderson never gave up her pursuit as she faced the almost impossible odds of breaking the color barrier.
As she and her voice matured, others besides Anderson’s family began to realize her potential. She found both comfort and success at church, where her vocal career actually started. The senior choir director never worried about absent soloists, as Anderson’s love of music enabled her to learn easily. Opportunities for public appearances appeared slowly and for very nominal fees. She likewise dressed modestly, wearing the satin dress that she and her mother had made. Opportunities, Anderson writes, began to come from African-American colleges and churches. Travel and accompanist expenses were frequently almost as much as her earnings. The exposure that would help to launch her career was yet to come.
(The entire section is 607 words.)