HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » "The Most Persecuted...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:04 PM

"The Most Persecuted, the Most Ostracized, the Most Condemned Black Man in America, Then or Ever" I

This is only a small snippet of a wonderful article on Paul Robeson, "The Paul Robeson Riots of '49." This one particular snippet is about Pete Seeger..

Pete Seeger was to perform at the concert, along with several folk singers and musicians, before Robeson appeared. Seeger arrived early, at 11 a.m. The line of 2,500 union members was forming around the field like a human wall...

"It may sound silly now, but we were confident law and order would prevail," said Seeger in an interview. "I had been hit with eggs in North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi, but this was New York State. "We heard about 150 people standing around the gate shout things like 'Go back to Russia! Kikes! Ni**er-lovers!' It was a typical KKK crowd, without bedsheets," Seeger said.

The police confiscated some baseball bats from the concert guards, and prevented a few clashes during the concert, which went on peacefully. Seeger sang folk songs, playing his banjo, and the program ranged through Mozart and Handel before Robeson came on... Seeger left the concert grounds with his wife and children, his wife's father and another couple. One of the concert guards told them to roll up their windows. A policeman in the road waved them south toward Peekskill. Around the corner was a man standing next to an immense pile of baseball-sized rocks. He took aim and hit the Seegers' car.

The stones came faster, and Seeger told everybody to get down. The windows smashed inward. A woman in the car was hit. Danny Seeger, 2, was huddled under the Jeep seat. He was covered with glass... South of Peekskill, the rock-throwing continued through Buchanan, Montrose and Croton along Route 9 as the smashed and dented cars and buses headed back to New York City.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/01/27/1182605/--The-Most-Persecuted-the-Most-Ostracized-the-Most-Condemned-Black-Man-in-America-Then-or-Ever-I

30 replies, 3576 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 30 replies Author Time Post
Reply "The Most Persecuted, the Most Ostracized, the Most Condemned Black Man in America, Then or Ever" I (Original post)
monmouth3 Feb 2013 OP
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #1
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #2
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #3
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #5
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #8
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #19
Starry Messenger Feb 2013 #28
CBGLuthier Feb 2013 #4
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #6
rurallib Feb 2013 #7
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #16
Demo_Chris Feb 2013 #9
rug Feb 2013 #10
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #15
RZM Feb 2013 #11
Spazito Feb 2013 #12
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #13
Spazito Feb 2013 #14
duffyduff Feb 2013 #18
Spazito Feb 2013 #23
duffyduff Feb 2013 #17
malaise Feb 2013 #20
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #21
malaise Feb 2013 #22
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #24
malaise Feb 2013 #25
monmouth3 Feb 2013 #26
freshwest Feb 2013 #29
malaise Feb 2013 #30
starroute Feb 2013 #27

Response to monmouth3 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:24 PM

1. k&r

The story of the Peekskill Riots should be a movie. I've read different accounts from several people and the savagery they faced from the mob was like something out of the middle ages.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:30 PM

2. I definitely agree. I wonder why no major films have been made? He was such an outstanding man,

truly a Renaissance man ahead of his time. I remember his very deep voice, it was mesmerizing.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:36 PM

3. I admire Robeson very much too.

Here is a video for DU to enjoy of him singing "Joe Hill":




Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #3)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:41 PM

5. Thank you so much for posting this. Absolutely beautiful. We need to bring Mr. Robeson back into

US conscience.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:09 PM

8. I wrote a piece about him at my blog if you'd like to check it out

I posted a bit on DU last year, the link to the longer piece is in the link here: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1024618

I agree, Robeson is a man for our times. He would be right there at home in the current issues of our day.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Starry Messenger (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:52 PM

19. I loved it. Many thanks...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Reply #19)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:13 PM

28. Thank you for starting this thread.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:41 PM

4. The Emperor Jones

Arguably one of the single best roles any black man was allowed to play in old pre WWII Hollywood.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #4)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 06:45 PM

6. I'm going to bookmark to watch later but thank you so much for posting. I don't think I've seen this

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:05 PM

7. wow - just wow. Thanks so much for posting this

I knew only a little about Robeson til now.
But beyond that, this led to another article on the rising popularity of the old confederacy in the south:
http://www.truthdig.com/report/page2/white_power_to_the_rescue_20130128/

what an eye opener to start black history month.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rurallib (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:45 PM

16. We never stop learning. It was the blurb about Pete Seeger that caught my eye and then I

was hours reading all of it. Glad you enjoyed.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:10 PM

9. Paul Robeson has been a hero of mine since I first read about him

 

I just wanted to know what the guy was singing "Old Man River" in an old slip of Showboat. No big deal, right?

The more I read the more astonished I became. He is truly one of the Greatest Americans to have ever lived, and certainly one of the greatest most have never heard of.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:15 PM

10. This looks familiar.



Pete Seeger now lives less than 20 miles from there.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to rug (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:41 PM

15. Thanks so much for posting this...n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:17 PM

11. Robeson had a very interesting life, but he was hardly the most persecuted black man in America

 

In fact, one of the remarkable things about his career was that he did manage to achieve so much in the face of racism.

He certainly encountered his fair share of bigotry, but so did the rest of the black population. And he was blacklisted, but so were plenty of other people.

The real most persecuted black in America at the time was probably some nameless person in the south, who was denied schooling and the opportunity to vote, and was eventually lynched for a crime he didn't commit. I'd say that person would qualify over a star of stage and song with an ivy-league law degree, who died of natural causes in old age.

Again, I'm not trying to minimize him or what he went through. I just think it's ridiculous to compare his life to that of millions of African-Americans who couldn't have dreamed of doing what he did. Actually that's probably part of the reason he was so popular - he gave hope to people who didn't have any.

And there is also the issue of his advocacy of Stalin and the USSR. The Kos piece seems to gloss over this, when in fact it was a crucial aspect of his identity, for which he has long been criticized from the left. Here's an example:

http://nova.wpunj.edu/newpolitics/issue25/finger25.htm

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:19 PM

12. Thank you for this OP...

I recognized the name, Paul Robeson, but knew very little about him. Your OP made me want to find out more about him and ....wow, a very, very impressive person. I found this synopsis on the PBS site and found it quite informative:

"Paul Robeson was the epitome of the 20th-century Renaissance man. He was an exceptional athlete, actor, singer, cultural scholar, author, and political activist. His talents made him a revered man of his time, yet his radical political beliefs all but erased him from popular history. Today, more than one hundred years after his birth, Robeson is just beginning to receive the credit he is due.

Born in 1898, Paul Robeson grew up in Princeton, New Jersey. His father had escaped slavery and become a Presbyterian minister, while his mother was from a distinguished Philadelphia family. At seventeen, he was given a scholarship to Rutgers University, where he received an unprecedented twelve major letters in four years and was his class valedictorian. After graduating he went on to Columbia University Law School, and, in the early 1920s, took a job with a New York law firm. Racial strife at the firm ended Robesonís career as a lawyer early, but he was soon to find an appreciative home for his talents."

more

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/paul-robeson/about-the-actor/66/

It is long past time Mr. Robeson receive the respect and admiration of his many accomplishments, imo.

Thanks again for this OP, it was an eye opener for me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Spazito (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:36 PM

13. We never stop learning something new, right?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:40 PM

14. I sure hope so, it keeps one young...

and I learn something new everyday just reading DU, especially in the area of history which is a passion of mine.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Spazito (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:51 PM

18. I would argue he is about the last of the so-called "Renaissance men" n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to duffyduff (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:00 PM

23. I hope there will never be a "last"...

I think there will be others who excel in many fields but, for the time and circumstances in which Mr. Robeson lived, it certainly seems to me he was an extraordinary "Renaissance man" to excel in so many ways despite the to which he was subjected.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:50 PM

17. Robeson was one of the rare individuals who excelled in a variety of unrelated fields

It's extremely rare to find anybody who is that diversely talented.

For my money, Robeson was just about the greatest singer who ever stepped in front of a microphone.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:53 PM

20. I grew up on Robeson

My father adored him.
Thanks for this.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to malaise (Reply #20)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:56 PM

21. You are welcome..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 07:58 PM

22. Early last year the cultural branch of the US embassy here

hosted a one man Robeson play - it was wonderful - full of his beautiful music.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to malaise (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:02 PM

24. Both his speaking and singing voice are mesmerizing..n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Reply #24)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:03 PM

25. Dad used to play Deep River

and say Deep Voice

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to malaise (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:08 PM

26. Oh malaise that was so beautiful. Thank you..

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to malaise (Reply #25)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 09:28 PM

29. A beautiful resonance, so comforting. What a great man and strong spirit.



As an artist I come to sing, but as a citizen, I will always speak for peace, and no one can silence me in this. ~ Paul Robeson

I learned some about him in high school and read his words, but never heard of this story about him in New York. I learn something everyday here at DU.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to freshwest (Reply #29)

Sat Feb 2, 2013, 05:46 AM

30. Paul Robeson was really great man

and so is Pete Seeger

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to monmouth3 (Original post)

Fri Feb 1, 2013, 08:08 PM

27. Amazingly, Pete Seeger is still at it

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread