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Robeson's international achievements as a singer and actor in starring roles on stage and screen made him the most celebrated black American of his day, but his outspoken criticism of racism in the United States, his strong support of African independence, and his fascination with the Soviet Union placed him under the debilitating scrutiny of McCarthyism. Blacklisted, his famed voice silenced, Here I Stand offered a bold answer to his accusers. It remains today a defiant challenge to the prevailing fear and racism that continues to characterize American society. (This book was originally published in 1958, this is a reprint.)
Paul Robeson: The Artist as Revolutionary by Gerald Horne
Publication Date: London: Pluto Press, 2016
Paul Robeson by Martin Duberman
Publication Date: New York: Knopf, 1988
Drawing on a vast archive of family papers and interviews with friends and relatives as well as FBI files, Martin Duberman charts the heroic and tragic course of Robeson's life: from his early days as the son of a former slave to his rise to unprecedented international acclaim as a stage actor and singer, and from his political awakening to his downfall as a victim of McCarthyism and the efforts of the U.S. government to destroy him. Paul Robeson is the result of years of research and interviews and paints a portrait worthy of its incredible subject and his improbable story.
The Undiscovered Paul Robeson, an Artist's Journey, 1898-1939 by Paul Robeson; Paul Robeson Jr.
Publication Date: 2001-03-01
In this work Paul Robeson Jr. traces the dramatic arc of his father's rise to fame, painting a definitive picture of Paul Robeson's formative years. His father was an escaped slave; his mother, a descendent of freedmen; and his wife, the brilliant and ambitious Eslanda Cardozo Goode. With a law degree from Columbia University; a professional football career; title roles in Eugene O'Neill's plays and in Shakespeare's Othello; and a concert career in America and Europe, Robeson dominated his era. This unprecedented biography reveals the depth of Robeson's cultural scholarship, explores the contradictions he bridged in his personal and political life, and describes his emergence as a symbol of the anticolonial and antifascist struggles. It includes many unpublished photographs and source materials from the private diaries and letters of Paul and Eslanda Robeson.
Publication Date: Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2020
From his cavernous voice and unparalleled artistry to his fearless struggle for human rights, Paul Robeson was one of the twentieth century's greatest icons and polymaths. In Everything Man Shana L. Redmond traces Robeson's continuing cultural resonances in popular culture and politics. She follows his appearance throughout the twentieth century in the forms of sonic and visual vibration and holography; theater, art, and play; and the physical environment. Redmond thereby creates an imaginative cartography in which Robeson remains present and accountable to all those he inspired and defended. With her bold and unique theorization of antiphonal life, Redmond charts the possibility of continued communication, care, and collectivity with those who are dead but never gone.
Paul Robeson speaks: Writings, Speeches, Interviews, 1918-1974 by Paul Robeson, edited by Philip S. Foner
Publication Date: New York: Brunner/Mazel, 1978
The ideas of the world-renowned Black American are represented on the arts, civil rights, socialism, and other topics. The editor Philip Foner has arranged his selections chronologically, tracing from Robeson's early writings in college, his interviews in the 1920's and 30's, and into the second half of his life where he wrote columns (notably in his publication Freedom) and gave speeches for civil rights, unionizing, and anti-colonial causes.
An interview with Elsa Knight Thompson and Harold Winkler of Pacifica Radio in 1958. Robeson reflects on the origins of his political work, his childhood, and his thoughts on the civil rights movements and the future of new African nations.
(Runtime: 32:08) An audio recording of part of Paul Robeson's testimony before the Senate committee considering the Mundt-Nixon Bill which intended to require all members of the Communist Party to register with the government.
A transcript of Paul Robeson's testimony on his application for a passport before the House Committee on Un-American Activities on June 12, 1956. It is unclear if this is the full transcript.
An audio clip of part of the testimony is available here, although there are minor errors in the subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhnCrHZkgNk/.
A transcript of the speech Robeson gave as valedictorian of the class of 1919 at Rutgers University. It addresses the aftermath of World War I and what Robeson believed should be done to achieve equality in the United States.
The finding aid for the New York Public Library's collection of papers related to Paul Robeson. "Divided into four series: general, professional, passport case, and organizations, the collection consists mainly of correspondence, manuscripts and printed matter, and represents for the most part office files of the United Freedom Fund, established in 1952. Manuscripts by Robeson include typed letters, handwritten drafts of letters, speeches and articles." (Scope and Arrangement) None of the materials are digitized.
The finding aid for the Paul Robeson collection of Rutgers University. "This collection comprises of material gathered together to document the career of one of Rutgers most famous and influential alumnus. It spans the years 1916 to 1998 and includes newspaper clippings, published articles, books, sound recordings, correspondence, photographs and negatives, bibliographies, and writings." (Abstract) None of the materials are digitized.
The finding aid landing page for Howard University's collection on Paul and Eslanda Robeson. (The finding aid is a PDF download from the linked page.) This collection primarily consists of correspondence, writings by and about Robeson, photographs, and material related to theater productions.
"This collection contains reel-to-reel tapes, cassette tapes, and compact discs of Paul Robeson's 1955 concert performance at Swarthmore and his 1955 speech, 'America to Me, Waterboy.'" (Abstract) No materials are digitized.