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… and an actor; the first black movie star, the only celebrity of color during the early twentieth century who never embarrassed himself portraying stereotypes …
… Robeson was destined for greatness eternal until his virulent stance against corporate imperialism alienated America’s elite, which then tried its damnedest to destroy him …
… this is a novel about a movie; about a(n imaginary) black filmmaker’s hellish, minefield-of-a-struggle as he does what, to date, no one else has — bring the life of Paul Robeson to the silver screen ..!
"Paul Robeson delivered to the United Nations a petition titled ‘We Charge Genocide: The Crime of Government Against the Negro People.’ Robeson was accompanied by signers of the petition December 17th, 1951, when he presented the document to a UN official in New York. The same day, William L. Patterson, executive director of the Civil Rights Congress (CRC), which had drafted the petition, delivered copies to the UN delegates meeting in Paris. ‘Out of the inhuman black ghettos of American cities,’ the introduction began, ‘out of the cotton plantations of the South, comes this record of mass slayings on the basis of race, of lives deliberately warped and distorted by the willful creation of conditions making for premature death, poverty and disease’ … Among the signers were the eminent African-American historian and freedom fighter W.E.B. DuBois and George Crockett Junior, later a distinguished judge in Detroit who went on to serve many terms in the U.S. Congress … In the section titled evidence, hundreds of cases of lynching were documented. The petition charged that, since the abolition of slavery, at least 10,000 black people had been lynched. The full number, it stated, will never be known because the murders were often unreported. The petition exposed a conspiracy to deny black people the right to vote through poll taxes and outright terrorism … The ‘prime mover’ in the genocide against the African-American people ‘is monopoly capital,’ the petition charged. ‘Monopoly’s immediate interest is … billions of dollars … that it extracts yearly from its exploitation and oppression of the negro people …’ The courageous act of Robeson and Patterson ignited a firestorm with Cold Warriors … All the UN delegates received a copy … Later, Eleanor Roosevelt, head of the U.S. delegation, delivered a speech, attempting to answer the charges without mentioning the petition. When Patterson arrived back in the U.S., federal agents hustled him into a room and strip-searched him, the first of many acts of retaliation … The charge of disloyalty was aimed at diverting attention from the irrefutable evidence in the petition."
–Tim Wheeler, People’s World, February 21st, 2003
… Malcolm X talked about it – Paul Robeson actually did it! Suck on that, Spike Lee ..!