Saturday April 9, 2016
3:00 pm – 5:00 pm Free and Open to the Public!
This program is a multi-media celebration of the legacy of Paul Robeson, the path-breaking African American athlete, artist, and activist from Princeton, New Jersey. This afternoon event will include selections of Paul Robeson’s music, dramatic interpretations of interviews, testimony, and political speeches by actor Grant Cooper, and readings from the recently released paperback edition of Paul Robeson: A Life of Activism and Art by author Lindsey R. Swindall. Signed copies of the book will be for sale.
This event is presented as part of the Witherspoon-Jackson Neighborhood Stories Project and is co-sponsored by the Paul Robeson House. Funding is provided by the J. Seward Johnson Sr. 1963 Charitable Trust and the NJ State Council on the Arts.
Good food and great company at Mama Mary Soul Food! Loved this place.
Grant Cooper and I spent two days this week with the community at Berklee College of Music. We visited seven classes with a multi-media program about Paul Robesons’s music career. But perhaps the best part of each class interaction was the dialogue with the students who enjoyed learning about Robeson and wanted to engage the question about the artist’s responsibility to society.
On Thursday, we had a lunch book discussion focused on my biography, Paul Robeson: A Life of Activism and Art, with a group of Berklee faculty. The discussion was lively and it was uplifting to be around like minded people who are engaged in the arts and who care about racial justice.
The most tremendous part of the trip was meeting Caroline Harvey whose grandfather, Arthur J. Harvey, defended Robeson’s right to perform in Albany, NY in 1947. That was a trying time in Robeson’s career when the anticommunist politics of the early Cold War brought intense pressure on anyone with left-wing connections. Caroline’s grandfather received death threats, and was shunned in his community for years simply for defending Robeson’s right to sing. It was so touching to learn of her family’s important legacy of activism. We hope to take our program to Albany now!
Many, many thanks to all of the students and faculty at Berklee. We cannot wait to return!