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This Day in Georgia History

July 11, 1925

Mattiwilda Dobbs Born

Opera soprano Mattiwilda Dobbs was born in Atlanta. After graduating from Spelman College in 1946, she won an international music competition in 1951. In 1955 she became the first black artist to perform a major role with the San Francisco Opera, and the following year the first to play a romantic lead role with the Metropolitan Opera. She later refused to perform for segregated audiences in Atlanta, but did sing at the inauguration of her nephew Maynard Jackson in 1974.