Paul Robeson

How Paul Robeson Found His Political Voice in the Welsh Valleys

by Jeff Sparrow

Paul Robeson, the great artist and activist, began his journey to becoming a global “people’s singer” through his contact with Welsh mining communities. “Throughout the 1930s, the analogy between African Americans and workers in Britain (and especially Wales) helped reorient Robeson, both aesthetically and politically.” The bond with Wales remained, “even after Robeson became, in Pete Seeger’s words, ‘the most blacklisted performer in America.’”

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