|Sing and shout : the mighty voice of Paul Robeson|
Author: Rubin, Susan Goldman
This biography explores the tumultuous and passionate life of activist, singer, and actor Paul Robeson.
School Library Journal (05/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 04/15/2020 The opening vignette in Rubin’s detailed look at a Renaissance American shows Robeson performing in 1925’s “music event of the year,” a New York City concert where he broke barriers by singing “Negro spirituals.” (The author explains that the book quotes terms from Robeson’s era that are now avoided.) The wildly acclaimed concert was just one triumph in the life of this remarkable performer, sportsman, civil rights champion, and son of a runaway enslaved man. Rubin presents Robeson’s life in short chapters starting with his childhood, which was marred by his mother’s early death, and continuing through his life as a young father, when his increasing success made his marriage rocky, to his controversial life as an outspoken critic of conditions for African Americans. Readers will find the writing clear if at times choppy; throughout, it is complemented by clearly reproduced black-and-white images of Robeson, his family, and others, which help bring the era to life. More than 50 pages of back matter, mostly extensive notes, create opportunities aplenty for further research. A quality choice for history and biography shelves. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
Booklist - 04/15/2020 - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 05/01/2020 Gr 6 Up—Readers of this thorough biography might ask themselves, "Is there anything Paul Robeson couldn't do?" Robeson was one of the first Black students to attend Rutgers University, where he excelled at football and academics. Despite his many talents, Robeson couldn't eat in a restaurant or stay at a hotel with his teammates when he traveled with this team because of Jim Crow laws. After a brief stint at New York University School of Law, he moved to Harlem in 1920 to attend Columbia Law School. After he graduated in 1922, he briefly pursued a career as a lawyer. Robeson gained fame with his marvelous singing voice, performing spirituals in concert, acting in plays, and appearing in hit films like Show Boat. He aimed to portray dignified African Americans in plays and films at a time when roles for people of color were relegated to degrading stereotypes. One of his biggest triumphs was portraying Othello on Broadway in 1943. As time went on, he devoted more energy to speaking out about civil rights. Robeson made connections between groups facing oppression across the globe, including those under Nazi occupation during World War II, fascist rule during the Spanish Civil War, apartheid in South Africa, and Black people in America. J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI labeled him a communist and took away his passport during the 1950s, but Robeson never stopped fighting against injustice. VERDICT Middle and high school students will find inspiration in the life of this fascinating figure in African American history.—Amy Duffy, Chicago Public Library - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.