In today's society, it is imperative that we instill in our youth that they can excel and do just about anything they set their mind's and hearts to. One does not have to confine themselves to one lane or one area of expertise. We can excel in many areas. A perfect example of this type of thinking comes in the form of Paul Robeson. Robeson was an African American concert singer (bass-baritone), recording artist, athlete and actor who became noted for his political radicalism and activism in the civil rights movement. The son of an escaped slave, Robeson was the first major concert star to popularize the performance of Negro spirituals and was the first black actor of the 20th century to portray Shakespeare's Othello alongside an all white cast.
A nationally renowned football player from 1917 to the early 1920s, Robeson was an All-American athlete, Phi Beta Kappa Society laureate during his years at Rutgers University. In 1923, Robeson drifted into amateur theater work and within a decade he had become an international star of stage, screen, radio and film. Robeson went on to be a recipient of the NAACP's Spingarn Medal, the Stalin Peace Prize and of honorary memberships in over half a dozen trade unions. James Earl Jones, Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte have cited Robeson's lead film roles as being the first to display dignity for black actors and pride in African heritage. Though one of the most internationally famous people of the 20th century, blacklisting during the Cold War has largely kept Paul Robeson out of mainstream interpretations of history.
Advocates of Robeson's legacy have restored his name to history books and sports records, honoring his memory throughout the world with posthumous recognitions.
Paul Robeson is an example of what tenacity and courage can cultivate. Robeson did not let a box confine him. He was a prolific activist, actor and athlete. This shows us that we can master and excel in many different areas of life no matter what obstacles may stand in your way.
As we close out Black History 2013, lets take the richness of the culture, the strength of the people, and mission of the forefathers to make BLACK HISTORY everybody's history. This maybe the last day of the month, but the SPIRIT should carry on for the rest of the year!!!!
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