In 2019, Rutgers marks the centennial anniversary of Paul Robeson's graduation from Rutgers College in 1919. In recognition, our community honors his achievements as a scholar, athlete, actor, singer, and global activist in a yearlong celebration featuring lectures, performances, art exhibitions, and more. The dedication of the Paul Robeson Plaza on the College Avenue Campus in spring 2019 will pay tribute to his legacy.Learn More About Robeson
Join us as we kickoff the Paul Robeson Centennial celebration and mark the 100th anniversary of his graduation from Rutgers College in 1919. In recognition, our community pays tribute to a pioneering scholar, athlete, actor, singer, and global activist.
Keynote Speaker: Opal Tometi
Social Activist and Co-Creator of Viral Twitter Hashtag and Movement, #BlackLivesMatter
The lecture series, named in honor of James Dickson Carr who was the first African American graduate of Rutgers University, invites public intellectuals to visit campus to discuss pressing issues of diversity, access, and equity in a public lecture and open dialogue with the Rutgers community. Laura Coates, Professor at George Washington University School of Law, esteemed attorney, political commentator, author, and radio talk show host will serve as this years’ lecturer. OPEN TO ALL STUDENTS, STAFF, AND FACULTY.
In honor of Paul Robeson's Centennial graduation, there will be a Graduate Student Colloquium on Paul Robeson: Rutgers Alum, Activist, Scholar, and Global Citizen. A prize of $1,000 will be awarded for the best team presentation; $500 and $250 prizes for the second and third best. All graduate students are invited to put together a team presentation. Learn more and register to participate.
Students discuss the life and legacy of Paul Robeson, Rutgers’ third African-American graduate and most famous alumnus, in a semester-long Byrne Seminar cotaught by the human rights activist's granddaughter, Susan Robeson.
Read the full Rutgers Today story
"It has been rewarding to see the lights go on in the younger generation of students who haven’t experienced the hardships of my grandfather’s time . . ." – Susan Robeson
In the same week Rutgers honored Paul Robeson, who was the university's first African American football player, the NFL began regular season play amid ongoing controversy over many players' decision to take a knee against racial injustice and police brutality during the National Anthem. It also coincides with Nike naming former NFL quarterback-turned-activist and founder of the silent protest, Colin Kaepernick one of the faces of the "Just Do It" campaign's 30th anniversary.Read the NJ.com article
The university recently broke ground on the future Paul Robeson Plaza, which will open in April as part of a yearlong centennial celebration of Robeson’s 1919 graduation. The plaza was conceived of and championed by the Class of 1971 for its 45th anniversary, with strong support from the Rutgers African-American Alumni Alliance.Read the Rutgers Today article
In 1915, Paul Leroy Robeson enrolled at Rutgers University, the third African-American to enter the school. Four years later he graduated valedictorian and a celebrated college athlete and singer. He went on to become an world renown performer and commentator on social issues.Read the TAPinto article