chapter  1
26 Pages

Paul Robeson and the End of His “Movie” Career: Charles Musser

ByCHARLES MUSSER

Paul Robeson was a towering artistic fi gure of the twentieth century. Star of stage, screen and the concert hall; at home with both popular and high culture; indeed playing the high-low interface with diabolical cleverness; he moved among the bohemian little theater movement of Greenwich Village, the commercial world of Broadway, the black theater of Harlem and the leftist theater of revolutionary Russia-and was just as comfortable with the correspondingly diverse realms in fi lm. Robeson was also a towering fi gure politically. As my friends on the West Coast like to say-he was a superstar.1