[304] His efforts to end Apartheid in South Africa were posthumously rewarded in 1978 by the United Nations General Assembly. "[223] However, when Robeson met with State Department officials and asked why he was denied a passport, he was told that "his frequent criticism of the treatment of blacks in the United States should not be aired in foreign countries". In the final issue, July–August 1955, an unsigned column on the front page of the newspaper described the struggle for the restoration of his passport. Please continue to respect all commenters and create constructive debates. Its Chinese lyricist died in a Beijing prison in 1968, but Robeson continued to send royalties to his family. [288][281], Numerous celebrations were held in honor of Robeson over the next several years, including at public arenas that had previously shunned him, but he saw few visitors aside from close friends and gave few statements apart from messages to support current civil rights and international movements, feeling that his record "spoke for itself". While continuing to establish himself as a concert artist, Robeson also starred in a London production of Othello, the first of three productions of the play over the course of his career. On September 7, 2019, Crossroads Theater Company performed Phillip Hayes Dean's play Paul Robeson in the inaugural performance of the New Brunswick Performing Arts Center. [327] On 9 April of the same year, to commemorate what would have been Robeson's 80th birthday, the Paul Robeson Committee of East Germany renamed Stolpische-Straße, in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin, to Paul-Robeson-Straße. [46] Academically, he was accepted into Phi Beta Kappa[47] and Cap and Skull. [177], Robeson participated in benefit concerts on behalf of the war effort and at a concert at the Polo Grounds, he met two emissaries from the Jewish Anti-Fascist Committee, Solomon Mikhoels and Itzik Feffer[178] Subsequently, Robeson reprised his role of Othello at the Shubert Theatre in 1943,[179] and became the first African American to play the role with a white supporting cast on Broadway. [190] Taking a stance against lynching, Robeson founded the American Crusade Against Lynching organization in 1946. Paul Robeson. [227] J. Edgar Hoover and the United States State Department arranged for the article to be printed and distributed in Africa[228] in order to defame Robeson's reputation and reduce his and Communists' popularity in colonial countries. [347] At the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, British-Nigerian actor Tayo Aluko, himself a baritone soloist, premiered his one-man show, Call Mr. Robeson: A Life with Songs, which has since toured various countries. Due to his decision not to recant his public advocacy, he was denied a passport by the U.S. State Department, and his income, consequently, plummeted. In a symbolic act of defiance against the travel ban, in May 1952, labor unions in the United States and Canada organized a concert at the International Peace Arch on the border between Washington state and the Canadian province of British Columbia. After his passport was restored in 1958, he attempted comeback tours, but severe depressions gripped him; in 1961, he tried to take his own life after a party and was subsequently treated with ECT in London. You can also choose to be emailed when someone replies to your comment. In West Philadelphia, the Paul Robeson High School, which won 2019 U.S. News & World Report for Best High Schools in Pennsylvania,[339] is also named after him. Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film. He had suffered a stroke on Dec. 28 and had been … Walter Camp considered him the greatest end ever. [250] His passport was restored in June 1958 via Kent v. Dulles. [44] His play at end[45] won him first-team All-American selection, in both his junior and senior years. You can find our Community Guidelines in full here. In a white man’s world during the Cold War, Robeson was considered a double danger: both black and red. [183] Robeson premiered the song at a concert in New York City's Lewisohn Stadium[183] and recorded it in both English and Chinese for Keynote Records in early 1941. [269] Three days later, under Soviet medical care, he told his son that he felt extreme paranoia, thought that the walls of the room were moving and, overcome by a powerful sense of emptiness and depression, tried to take his own life. A recording exists of him singing a deep bass aria from Mozart’s The Magic Flute – Sarastro’s “O Isis und Osiris”. Haldane,[163] he traveled to Spain in 1938 because he believed in the International Brigades's cause,[164] visited the hospital of the Benicàssim, singing to the wounded soldiers. [167] Robeson reevaluated the direction of his career and decided to focus on the ordeals of "common people",[168] He appeared in the pro-labor play Plant in the Sun, in which he played an Irishman, his first "white" role. Indeed, perhaps Robeson’s greatest legacy is as civil rights activist – one victimised by his own country for his socialist leanings, McCarthyism shattering his career in the 1950s. 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