Philadelphia in Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
(1898 – 1976)
Erected 1991 by Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. (Marker Number 199.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African Americans • Arts, Letters, Music • Entertainment • Government & Politics. In addition, it is included in the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission series list.
Location. 39° 57.391′ N, 75° 13.281′ W. Marker is in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia County. Marker is on Walnut Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 4951 Walnut Street, Philadelphia PA 19139, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ruth Plumly Thompson (approx. 0.4 miles away); American Bandstand (approx. half a mile away); World War I Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); Rev. Isaac Leeser4728 Baltimore Avenue (approx. 0.6 miles away); Crystal Bird Fauset (approx. 0.7 miles away); Satterlee U.S.A. General Hospital (approx. ¾ mile away); Gettysburg Stone (approx. ¾ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Philadelphia.
More about this marker. Located in West Philadelphia.
Regarding Paul Robeson. The Robeson House (4951 Walnut Street) is the last home of Paul Robeson, the legendary African-American scholar, athlete, actor, singer and human rights activist. The house has been recognized as National Historic Landmark as well as an African-American historic site and tourist destination of both national and international importance.
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
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" by McCarthyites who were wary of his earlier trip to the Soviet Union, his support of the 1947 St. Louis picketing against segregation of black actors, and a Panama effort to organize the mostly-black Panamanian workers.
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
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
Credits. This page was last revised on October 13, 2017. It was originally submitted on January 20, 2014, by Kathleen Weber of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 685 times since then and 19 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week January 22, 2017. Photos: 1. submitted on January 20, 2014, by Kathleen Weber of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania. 2, 3. submitted on January 21, 2017. 4. submitted on October 10, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.