Biography of Famous Popular Musician Paul Robeson Part 2

About the famous popular musician Paul Robeson, history and biography of the artist.

Paul Robeson (1898- ).

Still, Hollywood needed and wanted him. Following his stage smashes, which included All God's Chillun Got Wings, Porgy and Bess, Black Boy, Othello, The Hairy Ape, and Stevedore, he appeared in such films as Emperor Jones, Showboat, Sanders of the River, King Solomon's Mines, Jericho, Dark Sands, Tales of Manhattan, and Proud Valley.

The ambivalence continued: He was listed in Who's Who (primarily a British publication) but not in Who's Who in America. Yet it was in America that he received an honorary degree as Doctor of Humane Letters from Hamilton College.

At the height of his success, with annual earnings of over $100,000, his career came to a halt in 1949. In 1950, he was a professional politician speaking out against his own country and for the ideologies of the U.S.S.R. He had loudly endorsed and actively worked for Henry Wallace's Progressive party, and, earlier, had supported the Spanish Loyalists fighting Franco.

Even his son, Paul, Jr., born in 1927, shattered conventions: He married a white woman in 1949, long before racially integrated dinners were the thing.

Robeson moved his family to the U.S.S.R. with resultant passport difficulties. In 1952, he was awarded the Stalin Peace Prize by the Soviet Government. He was a folk hero there but ignored in his homeland.

In the 1960s, his eyesight failing and in general ill health, bureaucratic red tape was finally unraveled, and he was permitted to return to America. He was in time to see some of the changes he had agitated for before the nation was ready.

He wasn't too bitter, in print, when he was mugged on a New York street in 1965. He might secretly have considered it anticlimactic after a lifetime of far more important encounters, some of which he won, and some of which he lost.

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