Robeson, Paul, “Here I Stand.” Beacon Press, Boston, 1958
I got my copy from the Dallas Library B, R653R. You may have to reserve it and then wait, as I did. I was pleased to put aside the absolutely terrible political book I was trying to read and enjoy some time with one of the greatest men ever produced by our country
It’s not a biography. It’s a statement of beliefs and a strong prescription for action on civil rights. I believe it’s a good book to read for 3 reasons:
- It’s very direct and clear about history in Robeson’s lifetime
- His prescription for the civil rights movement is valid
- It’s a short easy read of only 111 pages
Paul Robeson went to Spain to help the republican nationalists who were fighting fascism. It was a prelude to World War II. Robeson explains, in just a page or two, that the western powers allowed German and Italian fascists to become great military powers because they believed that Hitler and Mussolini would kill all the socialists in Europe and then in the Soviet Union. They were to be nothing more than an exterminator squad for capitalism.
Robeson recommended a great, unified civil rights movement involving all good people but led by African Americans. He had a lot of first hand experience in civil rights and knew what he was talking about. He is very convincing and his recommendations should be taken seriously today.