Paul Robeson Speaks
Many remember Paul Robeson for his magnificent singing voice and for his stirring interpretations of Othello and The Emperor Jones. But how many are aware that forty years before Alex Haley’s Roots, Robeson wrote and spoke about African culture; thirty years before “black is beautiful,” he described his pride in being African American; and twenty years before détente, he wrote and argued against The Cold War?
Paul Robeson—all-around athlete, All-American football player, Rutgers University scholarship student, Columbia Law School graduate, internationally acclaimed actor and singer—made a choice. Leaving the “heights of purely individual achievement to enter the day-to-day, rank-and-file struggles of my people,” he placed himself squarely on the side of those who fought against imperialism and racial discrimination.
In this volume, Professor Philip S. Foner has brought together a stirring collection of Robeson’s speeches and writings, as well as interviews, newspaper reports and photographs. It is a vivid portrait of a towering African American, told in his own unforgettable words.