As part of our continued acknowledgement of African Heritage during the month of February, we present to you, a portrait of excellence, Paul Robeson. Robeson was the epitome of the 20th-century Renaissance man. He was an exceptional athlete, actor, singer, cultural scholar, author, and social activist. He starred in both stage and film versions of The Emperor Jones and Show Boat, and established an immensely popular screen and singing career of international proportions. Increasingly politically minded, Robeson eventually left movies behind, using his international celebrity to speak for those denied their civil liberties around the world and ultimately becoming a victim of ideological persecution himself. Lloyd Brown, a writer and long-time colleague of Robeson, states: “Paul Robeson was the most persecuted, the most ostracized, the most condemned Black man in America, then or ever.”
Paul Robeson died in 1976 and to this day, his many accomplishments remain obscured due to repressive tactics employed by the United States government throughout his career and after his death.
But his film legacy lives on and continues to speak brilliantly of the long and difficult journey of a courageous and outspoken African-American. So, on our program this afternoon we’ll feature a BOX SET of (8 films in total on 4 DVDs) titled Paul Robeson: Portraits of The Artist.