Paul Robeson

(Paul Leroy Robeson)

Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson
  • Born: April 9, 1898
  • Died: January 23, 1976
  • Nationality: American
  • Profession: Singer, Actor, Social Activist, Lawyer, Athlete

36

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11

Citations

80

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Videos

Paul Leroy Robeson was an American bass baritone concert artist and stage and film actor who became famous both for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism. Educated at Rutgers College and Columbia University, he was also a star athlete in his youth. He also studied Swahili and linguistics at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London in 1934. His political activities began with his involvement with unemployed workers and anti-imperialist students whom he met in Britain and continued with support for the Loyalist cause in the Spanish Civil War and his opposition to fascism. In the United States he also became active in the Civil Rights Movement and other social justice campaigns. His sympathies for the Soviet Union and for communism, and his criticism of the United States government and its foreign policies, caused him to be blacklisted during the McCarthy era.

Quotes
Quote Topics Cited
Get them to sing your song, and then they will know who you are. Politics, Politicians & Political Campaigning & Fund Raising
If the United States and the United Nations truly want peace and security let them fulfill the hopes of the common people everywhere War & Peace
In Russia I felt for the first time like a full human being. No color prejudice like in Mississippi, no color prejudice like in Washington. Discrimination & Prejudice
My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I'm going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you. And no fascist-minded people like you will drive me from it. Is that clear? Corruption ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
Sometimes great injustices may be inflicted on the minority when the majority is in the pursuit of a great and just cause. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest ;Minorities & Women
Sometimes great injustices may be inflicted on the minority when the majority is in the pursuit of a great and just cause. Morality, Ethics & Conflict of Interest
The artist must elect to fight for freedom or slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative. the history of the capsulize era is characterized by the degradation of my people: despoiled of their lands, their true culture destroyed...denied equal protection of the law, and deprived their rightful place in the respect of their fellows. Arts, Culture, Entertainment & Lifestyle ;Slaves, Slavery & The Slave Trade
There is a huge class conflict going on which is usually denied in the public discourse. Miscellaneous
We in America do not forget that it was the backs of white workers from Europe and on the backs of millions of Blacks that the wealth of America was built. And we are resolved to share it equally. We reject any hysterical raving that urges us to make war on anyone. Our will to fight for peace is strong...We shall support peace and friendship among all nations, with Soviet Russia and the People's Republics. Media, Journalism & The Press
We talked of the growing shadows that are being cast over our thoughts here at home. Discrimination & Prejudice
You are the non-patriots, and you are the un-Americans, and you ought to be ashamed of yourselves. Compliments, Insults & Rebukes
And at home in the United States we found continued and increased persecution, first of leaders of the Communist Party, and then of all honest anti-fascists.
And, gentlemen, they have not yet done so, and it is quite clear that no Americans, no people in the world probably, are going to war with the Soviet Union. War & Peace
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. War & Peace
At every step the vast majority have expressed horror at the idea of an aggressive war. War & Peace
But the deep desire for peace remained with the American people. War & Peace
Could I say that the reason that I am here today, you know, from the mouth of the State Department itself, is: I should not be allowed to travel because I have struggled for years for the independence of the colonial peoples of Africa. Travel
Four hundred million in India, and millions everywhere, have told you, precisely, that the colored people are not going to die for anybody: they are going to die for their independence.
I did a long concert tour in England and Denmark and Sweden, and I also sang for the Soviet people, one of the finest musical audiences in the world.
I do not hesitate one second to state clearly and unmistakably: I belong to the American resistance movement which fights against American imperialism, just as the resistance movement fought against Hitler.
I know that if the peace movement takes its message boldly to the Negro people a powerful force can be secured in pursuit of the greatest goal of all mankind. And the same is true of labor and the great democratic sections of our population. War & Peace
I said it was my feeling that the American people would struggle for peace, and that has since been underscored by the President of these United States. War & Peace
In fact, because of this deep desire for peace, the ruling class leaders of this land, from 1945 on, stepped up the hysteria and propaganda to drive into American minds the false notion that danger threatened them from the East. War & Peace
In Russia I felt for the first time like a full human being. No color prejudice like in Mississippi, no color prejudice like in Washington. It was the first time I felt like a human being. Time
Like any other people, like fathers, mothers, sons and daughters in every land, when the issue of peace or war has been put squarely to the American people, they have registered for peace. War & Peace
My mother was born in your state, Mr. Walter, and my mother was a Quaker, and my ancestors in the time of Washington baked bread for George Washington's troops when they crossed the Delaware, and my own father was a slave. Time
The Korean war has always been an unpopular war among the American people. War & Peace
The other reason that I am here today, again from the State Department and from the court record of the court of appeals, is that when I am abroad I speak out against the injustices against the Negro people of this land.
This is the basis, and I am not being tried for whether I am a Communist, I am being tried for fighting for the rights of my people, who are still second-class citizens in this United States of America.
This United States Government should go down to Mississippi and protect my people. That is what should happen. Government
Through the years I have received my share of recognition for efforts in the fields of sports, the arts, the struggle for full citizenship for the Negro people, labor's rights and the fight for peace. Sports & Athletics ;War & Peace
We must join with the tens of millions all over the world who see in peace our most sacred responsibility. War & Peace
Why should the Negroes ever fight against the only nations of the world where racial discrimination is prohibited, and where the people can live freely? Never! I can assure you, they will never fight against either the Soviet Union or the peoples' democracies.
Yes, peace can and must be won, to save the world from the terrible destruction of World War III. War & Peace
You know I am an actor, and I have medals for diction.
You want to shut up every Negro who has the courage to stand up and fight for the rights of his people, for the rights of workers, and I have been on many a picket line for the steelworkers too.