Celebrating His Life & Legacy: All-American Athlete, World Class Singer, Celebrated Actor, International Freedom Fighter
Monday, Feb 17, 2014, 12:00 – 1:30 pm Chambers Center, Garden Room, Colorado Women's College, 1901 E. Asbury Ave.
Join us for this public forum, featuring short presentations by Professors Arthur Jones (CWC), Haider Khan (Korbel), and Alan Gilbert (Korbel), including video clips, personal reflections, and song samples, followed by Q & A. Please RSVP by February 14th to Arthur.Jones@du.edu or Haider.Khan@du.edu. (continue to rsvp but also: please come).
Paul Robeson was a fabulous singer, famous in Bangla Desh where a mountain is carved out to him, and in Russia. He was a leading American cultural figure through the mid-20th century (possibly as famous as Louis Armstrong). He was also a fine actor though his roles in America were limited through discrimination. He joined the Communist Party to fight the rise of Nazism in Europe. He sang on picket lines. He knew more than 10 languages and sang at Carnegie Hall and around the world in many.
But when Robeson as leader of the American Committee on Africa to fight against colonialism said in in 1947 that blacks would never fight against the Soviet Union, the US government blacklisted him, revoked his passport thus forbidding him to sign in London, and in the corporate media, forced him out of sight. Though his memory lives on among artists and in the black community, the blacklist is such that his enormous presence was, for a period, whited out.
Of course, as a great football player at Princeton (his home town), Robeson is sometimes recalled at halftime in a football game with the thought that he really should be in the college football hall of fame.
And there is now a stamp to him as a great Afro-American (one should say here American or democratic figure) but that is perhaps beyond the reach, so far, of the US postal service.
Arthur Jones and Haider Khan are distinguished singers. This event will celebrate Paul straight up.￼