Robeson In Depth
The Bay Area Paul Robeson Centennial Committee was formed in April, 1997 to celebrate the April 9, 1998 centennial of the birth of Paul Robeson. Our goal was to gain broad public recognition of the life, career and legacy of this 20th century Renaissance man and to help to restore him to his rightful place in American and world history.
Since its founding, our Committee encouraged and assisted others in developing and publicizing educational programs and activities consistent with our goals. We organized and co-sponsored public events in celebration of the Centennial. We have worked with other individuals and organizations outside this region to exchange ideas and approaches toward accomplishing our mission.
In 1998 - 1999, over twenty dramatic Robeson centennial events were held in the Bay Area. Around the world, over four hundred celebrations took place. In the media and elsewhere, there has been broad public recognition of Paul Robeson, through numerous film showings, musical and educational programs, art exhibitions, a two-hour PBS documentary, as well as the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award.
Committee members have always viewed the Centennial year not as an end but as a beginning of something more enduring. Thus, beginning in 1999, the work of the Committee shifted from centennial events to more long-range efforts to bring the life and example of this great role model to the attention of the youth of today. One aspect of this involves the collecting of a variety of Paul Robeson resource materials for placement in public venues such as libraries and museums. An area of specific focus is on research in the history of Paul Robeson in the Bay Area and the western states.
We are continuing to gather and develop special resource material for the classroom. The committee's concept includes not only written curriculum, but will weave in audio, video, and other instructional aids in an integrated package. Basic lesson plans will be available as a package to schools, and parts of the material will be posted on this website and will be sent to a variety of publications. While the primary focus will be with teachers and students throughout the Bay Area, these materials will be made available to educators and community originations across the nation.
The Bay Area Paul Robeson Centennial Committee is a non-profit, all volunteer, organization with 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status.
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