TALK TO THE DADDY

Hello. Come on in. The daddy writes about current events, literature, music and, once in a while, drops something on you from back in the day to make you pause and ponder, stop and stare, and begin to wonder. Who knows? You may start to pace the floor, shake your head from side to side, then fall down on bended knees in a praying position and cry, "Lawd, have mercy! What is this world coming to?" Check yourself! But this blog is NOT about the daddy. It's about you: your boos, your fam, your hood, your country...our hopes and dreams of a better tomorrow. So let's make a pact: the daddy will put it on the track if you'll chase it down and hit him back. Together, we can definitely take it to another level. Shall we?"

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Paul Robeson: A Man, a Mighty Man

A Man, a Mighty Man
by Mac Walton, aka, MacDaddy

“I’m going to sing wherever the people want me to sing…

I’m not going to be frightened by crosses burning in Peekskill or anywhere else.”
-Paul Robeson

The more warmly the rest of the world embraced you,
The tighter the US pulled a rope around your neck.
The more the black press abandoned you,
The more defiant you became.
Now free of McCarthy, they claim you,
Even buy stamps in your name.
But the sons and daughters of Malcolm ask:
"Where were you when McCarthy came?"

The daddy feels that Robeson, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm to be three of our greatest leaders. Thanks to the folks over at the blog Concrete Loop, you can get a good idea of the physical and intellectual skills as the character that made him such a great African African American leader and a man with an unconquerable spirit, a role model for us all.

BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHT: PAUL ROBESON
Thursday, October 23, 2008

PAUL ROBESON (1898 – 1976) was an actor, athlete, civil rights activist, singer and one of the most gifted men of the 20 century.

Born on April 9, 1898, in Princeton, New Jersey, Paul was the eighth child of Quaker abolitionist Maria Luisa Bustill and former slave and minister William Drew Robeson.

In 1915, Robeson graduated high school and received a scholarship to Rutgers College. He was the third black student accepted and the only black student during his time on campus. He excelled academically, becoming a junior-year Phi Beta Kappa, a champion debater, class valedictorian and gaining admission into Cap and Skull, Rutgers’ honor society in 1919. He also triumphed on the athletic field, earning 15 varsity letters in football, baseball, basketball and track. He was named All-American twice in football (1917 and 1918).

While trying out for the football team, Robeson faced savage physical punishment when a senior member of the team crushed his hand with a cleated foot, tearing off fingernails. Coach Walter Camp later described Robeson as “the greatest to ever trot the gridiron”. Later in his life, though, when the U.S. government stopped him from traveling abroad, Robeson’s name was retroactively struck from the roster of the 1917 and 1918 All-America football teams.

To read the complete story, click here.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm showing this to my son. Never heard of Concrete Loop before. Maybe my son has.

Somebodies Friend said...

Say McDaddy,

I really want to check out the rest of this story, but the link to the Concrete loop does not work, it isn't a link at all.

MacDaddy said...

anon: He might be going to Concrete Loop already. They do a lot of music-related posts.
somebodiesfriend: If you're having problems, others may be as well. I'll see if I can fix it. If you still can't get into it, let me know. I'll just post the entire article. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

link works for me

MacDaddy said...

anon: Thanks for letting me know the link works. And I hope you liked the post.

rainywalker said...

Americans who read history, so soon they forget, until the next group of minorites is herded into the cattle pens.

Ellen Kimball said...

Hi Macdaddy --

Thanks for checking out my blog. Paul Robeson was a man to be admired, for sure. He was an amazing talent.

You sound like an interesting guy doing wonderful work. Glad to meet you on the 'net. My husband Al volunteers with the local Literacy Council teaching English to a large immigrant population here in Portland. His father was from Russia and the rest of our family were all Eastern European immigrants two generations ago.

I read your "Miles to go..." blog first. As it turns out, we're going to Palm Springs (and Escondido), California in December, so your beautiful photos were especially welcome.

Reading all of your blog citations reminds me of so many color barriers that may soon be abolished, hopefully.

I'm 69 years old and I was raised by two liberal parents from Pittsburgh, PA who moved to segregated Miami, Florida when I was three years old. One of the first signs I could read was on all municipal busses:

WHITE SEAT FROM FRONT,
COLORED SEAT FROM REAR

My father, a lawyer in Dade County, had to endure anti-Semitic epithets when he ran for councilman in the city of North Miami. However, he eventually was elected Vice-Mayor and was named a judge in later years.

Thank goodness I moved to New York City in 1962 and made friends with some very kind folks of all races, including Gregory Hines, the talented tap dancer who died an untimely young death. He was my daughter Linda's godfather. The family of "Chick" and Alma Hines and the two sons, Maurice and Gregory, were fabulous musical talents.

In the early 1970s, I was one of the first women to do radio call-in talk shows in Miami and Boston. I remember in 1972 saying that there would be a black male president elected before a woman of any color. It really looks like that will happen...

I appreciate your sensitive and literate blog. Linking you up in a jiffy...

Warm regards,

Ellen Kimball in Oregon

http://ellenkimball.blogspot.com

boukman70 said...

Paul Robeson may very well be my biggest hero. To think about all he gave up for his beliefs just astounds me--especially when you think of the MJs of the world who wouldn't speak out against the Nike sweatshops or for Harvey Gant or Tiger Woods not speaking on the behalf of women at Augusta, though he was perfectly willing to play up his "race" in Nike ads. I think a great debt of gratitude is owed Robeson. It really depresses me that not too many people actually know that much about him.

MacDaddy said...

rainywalker: You're right: We forget. Also, some of us never make the time to learn. I probably shouldn't be, but I'm amazed at how few people know of Paul Robeson. This includes black, some in their fifties.

ellen: Thanks for checking out both of my blogs. Consider making me a link and come again...Have a wonderful time in Palm Springs. I loved it out there.

Somebodies Friend said...

The links works for me now, I actually was able to use it late yesterday, thanks.

I love the poem, and what a man Robeson was. They don't make'um like that anymore.

It is absolutely incredible the level of achievement of Mr Robeson. He was a great man.

Anonymous said...

Mr. MacDaddy, I'm an Obama volunteer. I checked your older posts for the article you did about Obama and Bobby Kennedy but couldn't find it. Could you re-post it? It was my favorite.

MacDaddy said...

"I checked your older posts for the article you did about Obama and Bobby Kennedy but couldn't find it. Could you re-post it? It was my favorite."
anon: A number of people have requested that I re-posit certain pieces, especially the music pieces. But several have requested the piece on Bobby Kennedy and Sen. Obama. What I did was assemble all the requested blogs and put them on my sidebar. It's after the links. I called it "Favorite Posts." The piece you're looking for is titled, "Barack Obama: Another Man of Hope." Let me know if you have problems finding it.