As a student at the University of Texas in 1956, Afro-American soprano Barbara Smith Conrad was cast as the romantic lead in a student musical. Local conservatives, offended that having a black women was cast with a white male, succeeded in having her removed from the role. Their victory was pyrrhic. The event generated a national outcry, Smith’s career was not derailed, and, in 2010, she returned to sing at the Texas State House. “When I Rise” tells her story.