Integrating a Major U.S. Orchestra

Charles Burrell

Charles Burrell, one of the first African Americans to play for a major symphony in the U.S. recalls his life and career in music. While on tour with the symphony, he said, "We stopped in a place in Kansas, the whole orchestra, ... registered at the hotel. And when I got up to the counter, the clerk says, 'Well, he can't stay here. We'll put him in the kitchen with the help.'" For more on integration and classical music, see "Negroes Don't Play Classical Music," the first-hand account of Burrell's cousin, Purnell Steen.

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