Paul Robeson 125th Anniversary Concert featuring Kevin Maynor
Sunday, October 15, 2023
Nassau Presbyterian Church, Princeton
Join us for an extraordinary evening as we celebrate the 125th birthday of Paul Robeson. This event is more than just a concert; it’s a tribute to a legacy, a gathering of community, and a beacon of historical preservation.
Headlined by Kevin Maynor, Renowned Bass Soloist
Kevin Maynor, acclaimed for his rich and expressive voice, will be gracing the stage to perform a selection of Paul Robeson songs. His performances have enthralled audiences across the globe. Learn more about Kevin Maynor: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Maynor
Westminster Jubilee Singers
Composed of students selected by audition, the Westminster Jubilee Singers is modeled after the historically acclaimed Fisk Jubilee Singers. Its repertoire, while specialized and select, is very diverse and focuses on solo and ensemble artistic expressions from its singers. Part of Westminster Choir College’s Sacred Music Department, the ensemble performs literature that includes African-American spirituals and folk songs; classical music by African-American composers; gospel music and secular songs by musical greats such as William Dawson, Duke Ellington, Walter Hawkins, AndraéCrouch, Richard Smallwood, Kirk Franklin and Dr. Nathan Carter, as well as Westminster graduates, Rosephanye Powell, Donald Dillard and M. Roger Holland. Also explored and performed are works by non-African-American composers, including George Gershwin, Alice Parker, Robert Shaw, Robert Page, Gail Poch, Steve Pilkington and others who have composed and/or arranged music of the African-American experience. View a performance by the Westminster Jubilee Singers here.
Honored guest: Susan Robeson
We are immensely privileged to welcome Susan Robeson to the Robeson Anniversary Concert. As a beacon of her grandfather’s legacy, she will grace us with the opening remarks and guide us through the event as our esteemed moderator. VIP ticket holders will have the exclusive honor of joining Susan Robeson at the event’s VIP reception, an opportunity to connect and engage in an intimate setting celebrating the enduring legacy of Paul Robeson.
Special guests: Patricia Smith and the Witherspoon Church Verse Speaking Choir
We are thrilled to have Patricia Smith, Princeton’s esteemed poet laureate, joining us. The Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church Verse Speaking Choir will be performing a newly commissioned Paul Robeson poem by Patricia Smith.
Learn more about Patricia Smith here.
Preserving Paul Robeson’s Legacy
The Paul Robeson 125th Anniversary Concert is not just an evening of soul-stirring music, it’s a fundraiser to support the renovation of the Robeson House in Princeton. The proceeds from this concert will be instrumental in breathing life into this historic site, transforming it into a vibrant community space and residential lodging for the underserved.
The mission doesn’t end at the renovation. We’re committed to nurturing and preserving the legacy of Paul Robeson through various educational and cultural programs. Your ticket isn’t merely an entry to a night of exquisite music, but a step towards keeping Robeson’s spirit alive in the hearts and minds of the next generation.
$125 – General Admission
$200 – Preferred Seating
$500 – VIP Seating and Reception with Susan Robeson
Robeson Soul Wellness
Saturday, September 9, 2023
Johnson Park Elementary School, Princeton
9:00 – 11:00 AM
The Paul Robeson House of Princeton proudly presents Robeson Soul Wellness: Seed to Soul Fair & Festival. Presented in partnership with the Princeton Public Schools.
- Open mic sharing
- Education outreach
- Artist showcase
- Family fun
Sign up for more details.
Saturday, August 12, 2023
Join us in a grand celebration of the Jersey Tomato! We’ll be there with our Paul Robeson tomatoes!
NOFA-NJ and Ironbound Farm will fill the day with amazing farm-to-table food, tomato tastings from farms all over NJ, live music, a vendor village, educational engagement stations, and more.
It’s free to attend, BUT reservations are REQUIRED if you’d like a table (recommended). Otherwise, there will be some grab and go food options available.
Visit NOFA-NJ’s website for details
Black Voices Book Club
Thursday, August 10, 2023
The Princeton Public Library Black Voices Book Club will be discussing “Paul Robeson: No One Can Silence Me” by Martin Duberman and Jason Reynolds.
This discussion is open to all with no registration required. Visit website for more info: https://princetonlibrary.libnet.info/event/8017541
Morven’s Fourth of July Jubilee
Morven Museum & Garden’s Fourth of July Jubilee
Photo Credit: Chroma Studios
Tuesday, July 4, 2023
Morven Museum & Garden
12:00 – 3:00 PM
Celebrate community with Morven Museum & Garden on Tuesday, July 4 from noon to 3 p.m. when our Fourth of July Jubilee returns. In 1783, Morven hosted Congressional delegates celebrating Independence Day. 240 years later, the museum continues this tradition, utilizing our role as the home of a signer of the Declaration of Independence (and as New Jersey’s first Governor’s mansion) to engage the public in activities that explore our shared history and what it means to be an active citizen. Join Morven and our community partners for this free family-friendly event.
Activities include live music with the Ragtime Relics, food from Hotpanada and Kona Ice, a scavenger hunt, open archives, garden tours, and crafts and activities for the whole family. Visit stations hosted by the Paul Robeson House of Princeton, the Historical Society of Princeton, YWCA Princeton, League of Women Voters of the Greater Princeton Area, Revolution NJ, and the Princeton Public Library. On view for the day will be “A Prologue to the Chapters that Follow”: Princeton and Paul Robeson, a traveling exhibition hosted in commemoration of what would have been Robeson’s 125th birthday this year.
Reading: “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?”
Wednesday, July 5, 2023
7:30 – 8:30 PM
Community members read an amended version of Frederick Douglass’ influential speech, given on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, to the Rochester Ladies Anti-Slavery Society.
To register, please click on this Google form.
The life and works of Frederick Douglass continue to shape our understanding of America. A gifted orator and prescient writer, Douglass forces us to reckon with the legacy of slavery and the promises of democracy. One of the most celebrated orators of his day, Douglass’ powerful language, resolute denunciations of slavery and forceful examination of the Constitution challenge us to think about the histories we tell, the values they teach, and if our actions match our aspirations. To quote Douglass, “We have to do with the past only as we can make it useful to the future.”
Organizing partners, Princeton Public Library, Nassau Presbyterian Church and Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church Joint Mission Committee, Not In Our Town Princeton, Paul Robeson House of Princeton, McCarter Theater, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton.
Community partners: African American Cultural Collaborative of Mercer County, Arts Council of Princeton, Baha’is of Princeton, Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, Bending the Moral Arc, CASA for Children of Mercer and Burlington, Coalition for Peace Action, First Baptist Church of Princeton, Historical Society of Princeton, I Am Trenton Community Foundation, The Jewish Center of Princeton, Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Make Us Visible New Jersey, Mass Incarceration Task Force, Mercer County Community College, Morningstar Church of God in Christ, Mount Pisgah AME Church, Municipality of Princeton, Muslim Center of Greater Princeton, Paul Robeson Charter School, Princeton Civil Rights Commission, PDS Black Alumni, Princeton Charter School, Princeton Middle School, Princeton Public Schools, Princeton Senior Resource Center, Princeton Union Baptist Church of Trenton, NAACP ACT SO, United Methodist Church, PU Office of Community and Regional Affairs, Trenton Literacy Movement, Trenton Spoken Word, Ujima Village Christian Church, United Mercer Interfaith Organization, Westminster Presbyterian Church. Woman, Cradle of Abundance, WorkWell Partnership, YWCA of Princeton, YMCA of Princeton.
Robeson 125 Celebration
Saturday, April 1, 2023
Here I Stand: Paul Robeson’s 125th – Lincoln Center, NY (Invited guests)
Multidisciplinary artist Helga Davis hosts this musical tribute to the great man’s theatrical and recorded repertoire, performed by a selection of orchestra members from the New York Philharmonic and sung by the Grammy Award-winning operatic bass-baritone Mark S. Doss, a musical heir to Robeson’s complex legacy who makes his Lincoln Center debut at this event.
Wednesday, April 5-30, 2023 (Official opening on April 8th)
Exhibit: “A Prologue to the Chapters that Follow”: Princeton and Paul Robeson
Princeton Public Library
Today, Princeton celebrates Paul Robeson – the noted actor, athlete, scholar, and activist – as its “native son,” but in his writings, Robeson was often resentful towards the segregated Princeton of his childhood. The love and support he received from the town’s Black community, however, shone through – despite his complex relationship with the town – and remained a guiding force throughout his life.
This exhibition, developed in partnership with the Historical Society of Princeton, the Princeton Public Library, the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical & Cultural Society, and the Paul Robeson House of Princeton, uses Robeson’s own words to examine both sides of the Robeson-Princeton relationship and its evolution throughout his life.
Saturday, April 8, 2023
Robeson Day in Princeton
The Arts Council of Princeton – Wreath laying program and Robeson site tour
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
The Arts Council of Princeton (Invited guests)
Robeson 125th Community Celebration & Lecture with Dr. Jamese Williams & Guests (Hybrid event)
Princeton Public Library
On Becoming Gatekeepers of Our Truth: Honoring the Legacy of Paul Robeson During the Celebration of His 125th Day of Birth
Partner event with Paul Robeson Cultural Center of Rutgers University
Jakora Thompson, Moderator
Guest Panelist: Geralyn Williams of PACE Center for Civic Engagement of Princeton University
Official Opening of exhibit: “A Prologue to the Chapters that Follow”: Princeton and Paul Robeson
Princeton Room of Princeton Public Library
Developed in partnership with the Historical Society of Princeton, the Princeton Public Library, the Witherspoon-Jackson Historical & Cultural Society, and the Paul Robeson House of Princeton
Sunday, April 9, 2023
Robeson 125th Birthday
Easter Sunrise Service & Breakfast – Hosted by The Paul Robeson House of Princeton
The Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church / Nassau Presbyterian Church Easter Sunrise Service at The Princeton Cemetery
6:30 AM – Easter Sunrise Service
Witherspoon Presbyterian Church
7:30 AM – Breakfast
Monday-Wednesday, April 10-12, 2023
Robeson Film Festival – Film screenings with moderated discussions
The Arts Council of Princeton
6:00-8:00 PM nightly (Free)
Monday: The Tallest Tree In Our Forest documentary by Gil Noble
Discussants: PRHP Board Members
Tuesday: Seven Square Miles with filmmaker, Lorna Johnson-Frizell, The College of New Jersey
Discussants: Lorna Johnson-Frizell, Hawa Mamalou and Abdul Mohammed
Wednesday: Here I Stand (film)
Discussant: 2023 Robeson Fellow, Serina Montero
Robeson Curriculum Exchange & Teach In
Mon, Jan 16, 2023
10AM – 1PM
Princeton Middle School, Princeton NJ
Together with community partners, we are preparing to facilitate workshops about the life and legacy of Paul Robeson with educators and community members as part of our MLK Jr. Day of Service.
In collaboration with local schools, we will help build lessons for teachers ahead of our Robeson 125th programming, and help make Robeson a household name!
For me, it is not the house, but what it represents. 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.