The mural concept stems from the Hung Tao Choy Mei Leadership Institutes efforts to introduce Paul Robeson to the present generation; and, re-introduce him to previous generations through HTCMLI's Paul Robeson "Here I Stand" Award gala at the Lincoln Theatre.
Lead muralists Cory Stowers and Andrew Katz, their artist conclave (Eric B. Ricks, Maria Miller, Serena Z, Ernesto Zelaya, Jaa), the funding of DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and permission of the building owner brought Paul Robeson, larger than life, to 1351 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009.
Paul Robeson (1898-1976)
This chronology is just the starting point in understanding the depth and indefatigable efforts of an American master of the arts and civil activism.
Read Robeson's autobiography c1958; c1971: Here I Stand .
- Paul's father escaped slavery, fought in the US Civil War, and became a Presbyterian pastor in Princeton, NJ after attending Lincoln University and Seminary near Oxford, PA.
- 1917, 1918 All-American professional football player (while in college)
- 1919 Valedictorian and Phi Beta Kappa Rutgers College; First African-American to play football at Rutgers.
- 1920 Moves to Harlem, New York
- 1921 Marries DC-born medical chemist and activist Eslanda Cardozo Goode
- 1923 Graduates Columbia Law School
- 1925 Body and Soul (film)
- 1930 Borderline (film)
- 1930 Othello, at The Savoy, London (theater)
- 1933 The Emperor Jones (film)
- 1933 Show Boat, Hollywood (film)
- 1936 The Song of Freedom (film)
- 1937 Jericho, London. Issued in the US as Dark Sands (film)
- 1938 Entertains troops on front lines of Spanish Civil War
- Well known in Wales for supporting miners' civil rights.
- 1940 The Proud Valley, London. Issued in the US as The Tunnel (film).
- 1942 Native Land (Robeson Narration and Song)
- 1942 Criticized media for poor roles for Blacks in film, so stopped acting in films.
- 1943-1944 Othello, Broadway (record breaking run)
- 1949 World Congress of Advocates of Peace, Paris.
- 1950 US State Department revokes Robeson's passport.
- 1953 USSR Peace Prize
- 1958 Carnegie Hall Recital
- 1958 (Kent v. Dulles) Supreme Court rules that the right to travel is inherent in the "right to liberty" and forces the US State Department to reinstate Robeson's passport.
- 1958 Publishes the autobiography Here I Stand
- 1959 Last performance of Othello, Stratford on Avon, England (theater)
- 1960 Retires from performing
- 1976 New York Times publishes an obituary
- 2004 Commemorated on US stamp.