“As an artist I come to sing, but as a citizen, I will always speak for peace, and no one can silence me in this.” — Paul Robeson (Apr. 9, 1898 – Jan. 23, 1976).
Paul Robeson, born on April 9, 1898 in Princeton, New Jersey, was one of the most important figures of the 20th century. He was a “renaissance man” — an acclaimed athlete, actor, singer, cultural scholar, author, lawyer, and internationally-renowned political activist.
Learn more about Paul Robeson from this two-minute history lesson by Howard University professor and ZEP Reconstruction campaign advisor Greg Carr.
April 9th marks the birthday of Paul Bustill Robeson. Here are 2 minutes on “The Great Forerunner.” His papers are with @MoorlandHU . His mind and spirit are with us, everywhere, for all time. Let’s study him, his partner Essie, and ourselves. #JailbreakTheBlackUniversity pic.twitter.com/zHy3UCWK1X
— Greg Carr (@AfricanaCarr) April 9, 2020
Photo at top of page: Paul Robeson and the Civil Rights Congress submitting “We Charge Genocide: The Historic Petition to the United Nations for Relief From a Crime of The United States Government Against the Negro People.” This book-length petition documents hundreds of lynching cases and a clear pattern of government inaction or actual complicity. It charges that in the 85 years since the end of slavery more than 10,000 African Americans are known to have been lynched (an average of more than 100 per year), and that the full number can never be known because the murders are often unreported. This description of the petition is from CRMVets. Read excerpts from the petition.
Read about Robeson’s appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee in the tweet by high school teacher and Zinn Education Project team member Ursula Wolfe-Rocca below.
Love @hbryant42‘s description (in his excellent book The Heritage) of Robeson’s appearance before the House Un-American Activities Committee. https://t.co/9wwM5Tq62A pic.twitter.com/RRLQY6qqMU
— Ursula Wolfe-Rocca (@LadyOfSardines) April 9, 2020
Additional recommended resources include Paul Robeson: The Renaissance Man (PBS), Americans Who Tell the Truth, and Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson by Barbara Ransby.