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 >
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.
The Robeson House, like the Witherspoon Jackson neighborhood it anchors, is rooted in history but not locked in the past. The house stands proud and represents a future in which social justice issues are debated, programs developed, and community resources rallied to breathe life into the philosophy and legacy of Paul Robeson, a brave American patriot who used his many talents to fight for the rights and respect of all people worldwide.
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.
Don’t go along to get along. Be willing to sacrifice to do what you know is right.