Here I Stand

Here I Stand

Paul Robeson

Language: English

Pages: 160

ISBN: 0807064459

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Robeson's international achievements as a singer and actor in starring roles on stage and screen made him the most celebrated black American of his day, but his outspoken criticism of racism in the United States, his strong support of African independence, and his fascination with the Soviet Union placed him under the debilitating scrutiny of McCarthyism. Blacklisted, his famed voice silenced, Here I Stand offered a bold answer to his accusers. It remains today a defiant challenge to the prevailing fear and racism that continues to characterize American society.

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and thinking. But these hasty snatches and fragments are not enough, and so in these pages I have sought to tell the story more fully. In doing this, I have been assisted by my friend, the gifted Negro writer Lloyd L. Brown, and I am deeply grateful for the warm understanding and creative quality of his work with me. Though this book is not an autobiography, I thought it might be helpful at the outset to sketch briefly my early days and the lasting influences from my childhood. Let that story be

and taking part in their activities at the West African Students Union building. Somehow they came to look upon me as one of them; they took pride in my successes; and they made Mrs. Robeson and me honorary members of the Union. Besides these students, who were mostly of princely origin, I also came to know another class of Africans—the seamen in the ports of London, Liverpool and Cardiff. They too had their organizations, and had much to teach me about their lives and their various peoples. As

concert—“Love will find out the way.” By mail, by telephone and telegram, and through friends who have visited abroad, I have received many warm messages of friendship and good cheer from people throughout the world. And through the written word, by recordings and filmed interviews I have tried to keep in touch with audiences abroad whose numerous invitations for concert, stage and film appearances I was not free to accept. A great joy during the period when I was not even permitted to travel to

me: Let us think of the entire earth and pound the table with love. I don’t want blood again to saturate bread, beans, music: I wish they would come with me: the miner, the little girl, the lawyer, the seaman, the doll-maker, to go into a movie and come out to drink the reddest wine … I came here to sing and for you to sing with me. APPENDIX A. My Brother, Paul By REV. BENJAMIN C. ROBESON The family had just finished dinner, the day was hot and sultry. We began to lounge

Othello and the Nature of Our Times,” The American Scholar 14 (Autumn 1945):391. 16. Selected Writings, 96-97. PREFACE Lloyd L. Brown, 1971 Here I Stand, first published in 1958, was a statement of bold defiance and prophetic power. Here stood a beleaguered man who would not bend or bow; and here his muzzled voice proclaimed: The time is now. For thirty years—from the First World War until after World War II—Paul Robeson’s extraordinary achievements had kept him in the spotlight. First

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