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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: April 20, 2017 02:08 PM
From: Representative Christopher M. Rabb
To: All House members
Subject: Honoring the Life and Legacy of the Late Paul Leroy Robeson
In the near future, I will be introducing a resolution honoring the life and legacy of the late Paul Leroy Robeson, acclaimed civil rights activist, lawyer, thespian, athlete, and entertainer.

Earlier this month marked the birthday of a man whose brilliance, civil/human rights advocacy, and extraordinary cultural influence has been largely understated throughout world history. Paul Leroy Robeson -- a man who defied all odds and limitations -- was truly a Renaissance man in every sense of the term. Paul Robeson’s illustrious career garnered him both national and international acclaim as a masterful concert singer and thespian. This included lead roles in numerous films and stage presentations, most notably his role as Othello in the Shakespearean Broadway play, which marked the first time that an African-American had ever played the role.

Despite the immense degree of success that he achieved both onstage and onscreen, Paul Robeson had an even more profound impact upon society by utilizing his international platform to decry the many injustices and human rights violations being perpetrated against persecuted and disenfranchised people all across the world. Upon his official exit from the public eye, Paul Robeson retired to the City of Philadelphia where he resided until the date of his passing on January 23, 1976.

As a man who had personified the principles of competition, compassion, and community during his time here on earth, it is only fitting that the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection served as his final resting place. I ask that my colleagues please join me in co-sponsoring this resolution honoring the life and legacy of the incomparable Paul Leroy Robeson.

Introduced as HR285