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Paul Robeson to be Celebrated at Library

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Paul Robeson to be Celebrated at Library

Paul Robeson to be Celebrated at Library

April 8, the day before his 119th birthday, Somerville Library will host programs to celebrate the life of local advocate; Robeson’s granddaughter will serve as guest speaker

(Somerset County, NJ: March 20, 2017)  “Paul Robeson was one of the most well-known African-Americans of the 20th century,” said Jim Sommerville, adult services librarian at Somerset County Library System of New Jersey’s Somerville Library branch. “He was a renaissance man, a social activist, scholar, intellectual, lawyer, All-American athlete, singer, linguist, humanist, and advocate for international peace.”

Robeson, was born in Princeton on April 9, 1898. He and his family moved to Somerville when he was young, and it was there that he attended school, graduating from Somerville High School with honors in 1915. Robeson went on to become an accomplished actor and athlete, as well as an international activist.

“He had been active in football, basketball, baseball, and track at Somerville High School,” said Sommerville. “and had been, as a football team-mate described him, ‘THE football team.’ He excelled additionally on the debating team. He was an A student amid the 29 other students in his class. One of his teachers, Anna Miller, was so impressed by the acting talent he exhibited in school drama that she encouraged him to seek acting as a profession. One of his acting roles at SHS was Othello, the first of many occasions when he would portray the Shakespearean antihero.”

Somerset County Library System of New Jersey invites the community to celebrate Robeson–and his Somerville connection–at SCLSNJ’s Somerville Library branch, located at 35 W. End Avenue in Somerville, on Saturday, April 8.

Paul Robeson Sports Stations (ages 4+ years old)
SCLSNJ’s Somerville Library branch
10 a.m. – noon
Inspired by Robeson’s athletic ability, children are invited to participate in sports stations. This event will be held outdoors on the lawn of Borough Hall. In the event of inclement weather, this event will be held inside the Library. Sneakers or closed toe shoes are recommended. No registration required. Note: A Parental Waiver & Consent Form will need to be signed for children participating in this event.

Paul Robeson’s Vision of Peace and Freedom, and his Relevance Today (adults)
SCLSNJ’s Somerville Library branch
Noon  – 1 p.m.
Guest speaker Susan Robeson, Paul Robeson’s granddaughter, will explore what it means to be a global citizen in today’s world and how to stay true to Paul Robeson’s ideals of peace and freedom. Susan Robeson is an award-winning documentary filmmaker, broadcast journalist and author of the award-winning book, “The Whole World In His Hands: A Pictorial Biography of Paul Robeson,” and a forthcoming children’s book, “Grandpa Stops A War.” She lives in New York City where she is Executive Director of the Paul Robeson Foundation and is producing her first dramatic feature film.

Paul Robeson, A Chautauqua (adults)
SCLSNJ’s Somerville Library branch
2-3 p.m.
Actor Marvin Jefferson brings the life of Paul Robeson alive through first-person historical characterization.

Registration is required to attend these programs unless otherwise indicated. To register, visit SCLSNJ.org or call 908-725-1336.

Throughout the day, clips of some of Robeson’s foremost film and singing performances will be shown in the Taub Reading Room Meeting Room at SCLSNJ’s Somerville Library branch. Additionally, there will be a display in the Reading Room of SCLSNJ’s Somerville Library branch that will feature visual resources that highlight Robeson’s career.  

For more information, visit SCLSNJ.org or call 908-725-1336.

About Somerset County Library System of New Jersey
Somerset County Library System of New Jersey (SCLSNJ) partners with you to connect, to explore, to share and to discover. Together we enrich lives, expand knowledge and strengthen communities. SCLSNJ branches can be found in Bridgewater, Bound Brook, Hillsborough, Manville, North Plainfield, Peapack & Gladstone, Rocky Hill at Mary Jacobs Memorial Library, Somerville, Warren Township, and Watchung. Additionally, there are two SCLSNJ reading stations in Branchburg and Washington Valley. Visit SCLSNJ.org for further information about library services offered at SCLSNJ.

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By | 2017-12-05T19:21:30+00:00 March 20th, 2017|SCLSNJ News|
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