Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
(1898 – 1976)
Erected 1991 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. (Marker Number 199.)
Location. 39° 57.391′ N, 75° 13.281′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker is on Walnut Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4951 Walnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19139, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. American Bandstand (approx. half a mile away); Rev. Isaac Leeser (approx. 0.6 miles away); Crystal Bird Fauset (approx. 0.7 miles away); Herman Herzog (approx. 0.9 miles away); Laura Wheeler Waring (approx. 0.9 miles away); Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (approx. one mile away); John J. McDermott (approx. one mile away); Paul Philippe Cret (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Philadelphia.
More about this marker. Located in West Philadelphia.
Regarding Paul Robeson.
Paul Robeson was born in 1898, the son of Reverend William Drew Robeson and Maria Louisa Bustill. Rev. Robeson as a teenager escaped slavery on the Underground Railroad, and later earned a theological degree, and used the pulpit to advocate for equal rights.
Paul Robeson was renowned for his rich baritone voice, superb acting ability, and passionate zeal for racial and human justice. He was a gifted student and athlete while attending Rutgers University in New Jersey. He won honors in debating and oratory and graduated from Columbia Law School. He left the practice of law to pursue a career in singing and acting. Robeson performed on Broadway, and is noted for his leading roles in Othello and Eugene O'Neill's play, Emperor Jones, and his stunning rendition of the song -Ole Man River- in the musical Showboat.
In 1934, he visited the Soviet Union, where he felt fully accepted as a black artist. During World War II, he entertained troops and sang battle songs on the radio. Despite his war efforts, he was labeled "subversive"
Robeson received death threats from the Ku Klux Klan while campaigning for the Progressive Party candidate in the 1948 presidential election. In March 1950, NBC barred Robeson from appearing on a television show with Eleanor Roosevelt. Concert halls closed their doors to him, and his records began to disappear from stores. Finally, the U.S. State Department canceled his passport. Robeson sued and the case went to the Supreme Court. After eight years and an international outcry, his passport was returned.
During the 1960s and 1970s, dozens of prominent leaders and world-renown performers visited the classic, 1911 row house in the Walnut Hill community of West Philadelphia. The Paul Robeson House was his last residence, and during the 10 years that he lived here with his sister, ill and in retirement after nearly two decades of enforced silence and political persecution, both he and his home became powerful symbols of the African-American struggle for equality and civil rights.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Also see . . .
1. Paul Robeson: The Renaissance Man. (Submitted on January 20, 2014, by Kathleen Weber of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.)
2. Paul Robeson Biography. (Submitted on January 20, 2014, by Kathleen Weber of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.)
3. Paul Robeson: A Brief Biography. (Submitted on January 22, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. What Paul Robeson Said. (Submitted on January 22, 2017, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
Additional keywords. Retirement, singer, actor
Categories. • African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment • Politics •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Kathleen Weber of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 421 times since then and 100 times this year. This page was the Marker of the Week Photos: 1. submitted on , by Kathleen Weber of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. 2, 3. submitted on . • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on January 22, 2017.