Monthly Archives: April 2018

120 Years Ago Today …

… Paul Robeson was born in Princeton, New Jersey.

Tonight Grant Cooper and I will be facilitating a community discussion on the life and writing of James Baldwin at the public library in Union, New Jersey.  Talking about Baldwin on Robeson’s birthday put me in mind of a birthday event in April 1965 at which Baldwin, and other luminaries, offered reflections on Robeson’s career as an artist and activist.  The event was hosted by Freedomways journal, a periodical that chronicled the civil rights struggles of the 1960s and 70s.

At the birthday event Baldwin observed, “[I]n the days when it seemed that there was no possibility of applying the rigors of conscience, Paul Robeson spoke in a great voice ….”

Both of these men still speak to us today in a great voice.  Let’s hope that our society is ready to listen.

Happy Birthday, Paul Robeson.


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