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
Paul Robeson was the first African-American football player at Rutgers University, and in celebration of Robeson's centennial graduation and the 150th anniversary of college football, the Scarlet Knights honored his legacy on—and off—the field. Robeson’s granddaughter and executive director of the Paul Robeson Foundation, Inc., Susan Robeson, served as an honorary football coach for the day.
Watch as Susan Robeson motivates her team with a moving speech about her grandfather's perseverance.
In a new book in the Scarlet and Black Project, Rutgers University continues to examine its historical relationship to race, slavery and disenfranchisement, telling the story of the university’s first black students, who were pioneers treated as outcasts on their own campus.Read the Rutgers Today article.
By the time he turned 65, an ailing Paul Robeson felt both unappreciated for and unsatisfied with all that he had achieved. Martin Duberman, author of the biography Paul Robeson, writes that since childhood the actor, singer and social activist had struggled to live up to the dictum preached by his father, “that he should always do better and more.”Read the Rutgers Today article.
In 1938, after having spent months raising funds for the Republican forces fighting the fascist Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War, Paul Robeson went a step further. He embarked on a weeklong tour of Spain, where he met with and sang for Republican troops not far from the front lines.Read the Rutgers Today article.
In late 1946, after launching an antilynching crusade in Washington, D.C., Paul Robeson and a handful of colleagues visited President Harry Truman in the White House.Read the Rutgers Today article.