Paul Robeson, Jr.

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For his father, see Paul Robeson.
Paul Robeson, Jr.
Born (1927-11-02)November 2, 1927
Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died April 26, 2014(2014-04-26) (aged 86)
Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.
Occupation Author, historian
Nationality American
Alma mater Cornell University (1949)
Spouse(s) Marilyn Paula Greenberg (m. 1949)

Paul Robeson, Jr. (November 2, 1927 – April 26, 2014) was an American author, archivist and historian.

Biography[edit]

Robeson was born in Brooklyn to entertainer and activist Paul Robeson and Eslanda Goode Robeson. As his family moved to Europe he grew up in England and Moscow, in the Soviet Union. In Moscow he attended an elite school. The Robesons returned to the United States in 1938 to live first in Harlem, New York, and after 1941 in Enfield, Connecticut. Robeson, Jr. graduated from Enfield High School and attended Cornell University where he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1949. He died of lymphoma in 2014.[1]

Paul Robeson, Sr. legacy[edit]

Robeson maintained on many occasions that his father "never joined the Communist Party or any party for that matter -- he was an independent artist and would never submit to any kind of organizational discipline."

On his own politics he stated: "I was much more an organized political person", he said, adding that from about 1948 to 1962, he was a member of the Communist Party. "It was an instrument, a radical instrument that could help advance the interests of African-Americans. It helped build the early civil-rights movement and independent trade union movement in the 1930s, '40s and '50s." He said he left the party in 1962 after "it became bureaucratic and corrupt".[2]

Robeson's father, Paul Sr., was one of his closest friends and protectors, traveling and living with him intermittently during his life. Following his father's death, Robeson Jr. worked extensively to establish the Paul Robeson Archive and the Paul Robeson Foundation. The archive, currently housed at Howard University's Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, is the largest repository in the Western hemisphere of Robeson documents and articles, totaling well over 50,000 items.[3] He is of Igbo descent through his father.[4]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Robeson, Jr., Paul (1993). Paul Robeson, Jr. Speaks to America: The Politics of Multiculturalism. USA: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-2322-2. 
  • Robeson, Jr., Paul (2001). The Undiscovered Paul Robeson: The Early Years, 1898-1939. New York: Wiley. ISBN 0-471-24265-9. 
  • Robeson, Jr., Paul (2006). Black Way of Seeing: From "Liberty" to Freedom. New York: Seven Stories Press. ISBN 1-58322-725-3. 
  • Robeson Jr., Paul (2000-03-02). "The Counterfeit `Paul Robeson.'". The New York Amsterdam News 91 (9): 24–25. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fitzsimmons, Emma G. (April 28, 2014). "Paul Robeson Jr., Activist and Author, Dies at 86". The New York Times. Retrieved April 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ Arnold H. Lubasch (21 October 1993). "In Harlem With: Paul Robeson Jr.; Finding His Own Voice And Learning to Use It". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-02-16. 
  3. ^ Duberman, Martin (1989). Paul Robeson. New York: Knopf. p. 557. ISBN 0-394-52780-1. 
  4. ^ Robeson II, Paul (2001). The Undiscovered Paul Robeson: An Artist's Journey, 1898–1939 (PDF). Wiley. p. 3. ISBN 0-471-24265-9. Retrieved 2008-12-27. "A dark-skinned man descended from the Ibo tribe of Nigeria, Reverend Robeson was of medium height with broad shoulders, and had an air of surpassing dignity." 

External links[edit]