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Slave CultureNationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America$
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Sterling Stuckey

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199931675

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931675.001.0001

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On Being African: Paul Robeson and the Ends of Nationalist Theory and Practice

On Being African: Paul Robeson and the Ends of Nationalist Theory and Practice

Chapter:
(p.340) 6 On Being African: Paul Robeson and the Ends of Nationalist Theory and Practice
Source:
Slave Culture
Author(s):

Sterling Stuckey

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199931675.003.0006

Paul Robeson won Phi Beta Kappa honors and oratorical and debating prizes and was named All-American in football and class valedictorian at Rutgers. By then, he had found, among southern blacks, main sources of black genius in the arts, which he later illustrated during the Negro Renaissance. A declared socialist after arriving in England in the late twenties, he celebrated values common to the people, and this was reflected in songs he sang in many languages to universal acclaim. In addition to Chinese, Greek and Russian, he was a brilliant student of African languages at the London School of Oriental Languages and was invited to join the West African Student Union, a rare honor. Though possibly the greatest artist in the world, he was persecuted in the United States because he firmly opposed both colonialism and racism. He favored Negro students studying abroad and thereby being rescued from American racism.

Keywords:   Home as theater and concert stage, W.E.B. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, Classical Languages, “Loyalty to Convictions”, Folk songs, The Emperor Jones, Othello, The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, James Weldon Johnson

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