Learning from our past, shaping the future
ABOUT PAUL ROBESON
Paul Robeson was a scholar, an all American athlete, an artist, and an activist. The son of a former slave turned preacher, he rose to prominence at a point in history when segregation was legal in the country.
He continues to serve as an inspiration to people of all races and walks of life today. Read more >
I stand here today under great stress, because I dare, as do you, all of you, to fight for peace and a decent life for all men, women, and children wherever they may be.
It is 2024; we are gearing up to celebrate Paul Robeson’s 126th Birthday and focusing on Black History Month. Our first podcast episode of the new year features reflections from one of our Robeson Scholars and two of the speaker-presenters from this year’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Teach In and Curriculum Exchange.
The planned theme for this episode was “powerful texts”. As our conversations about teaching hard histories and doing the work of social justice education in the 21st century unfolded an overarching thread knit all three conversations together: the notion of dignified humanity. Each guest points directly to the Robesonian ideal of humanization for all.
THE ROBESON HOUSE
The “Paul Robeson House,” is a residential property located at 110 Witherspoon Street, Princeton, NJ, where Paul Robeson was born. It has been the focal point for advancement of the African American community in the Princeton area for over a century.
It was the residence for Reverend Drew Robeson and his family when he was appointed pastor of the Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church in 1879. The property later transferred to private ownership and became the “first residence” for many migrant workers, domestics, and laborers that came to Princeton. Through the years, it has served as a gathering place and service center for neighborhood residents. Many of the new residents settled in the Witherspoon-Jackson community and became the driving force for social, educational, and civic advancement of the community.
Rozyln Anderson Flood
As Paul explained, “The artist must elect to fight for freedom or slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative.”
Dr. Joy Barnes-Johnson
As an idea, the house serves as a center within a historic district known to be a friendly neighborhood in its community. The complexity of Robeson’s work to address economic, aesthetic, and political freedom can be explored by all who will come.
Paul Robeson used his abundant God given talents to turn a vision for world peace and human equality into reality. Our world is better today due to his positive influence and efforts.
Don’t go along to get along. Be willing to sacrifice to do what you know is right.