The Paul Robeson House of Princeton Podcast
By The Paul Robeson House of Princeton
The Paul Robeson House of Princeton PodcastMay 01, 2023
Robeson Tomatoes: Seed to Table
Welcome to the Paul Robeson House of Princeton podcast. Our goal is to Make ROBESON a HOUSEhold name. In this Summer edition of the podcast series, we have updates on our Freedom Tomato garden initiative.
As we draw nearer to the end of our campaign, the Program Committee wants to thank every friend and neighbor that took up the challenge to grow Robeson tomatoes this season. We especially want to thank the Princeton School Gardens Cooperative, Princeton Public Schools and Dr. Louise Senior for your contributions to the success of this initiative: going from seed to table. For this episode, we sit down to talk to the Food Systems Literacy Coordinator for the Princeton Public Schools, local farmer, educator, dancer and agri-activist Mrs. Tomia MacQueen.
This summer the Paul Robeson House of Princeton has been excited about our partnerships with various community agencies. Our now annual reading of the Frederick Douglass speech “What to the slave is the fourth of July”, Morven Park share day and upcoming Festomato share day give us unique opportunities to meet and greet people in the name of Robeson.
We are looking forward to continuing Robeson 125 events this fall. Please save the date! October 8th 2023 we will celebrate the life and legacy of Paul Robeson with a concert in the Princeton community. In solidarity with several friends, we also invite you to join us on the campus of Princeton University on October 11th for a day of professional learning with e Pluribus Unum.
We leave you with a quote from Mr. Robeson that we hope inspires you to help us fulfill our mission: to promote social justice consistent with the values and actions of Princeton’s native son:
"We must realize that our future lies chiefly in our own hands."
Our next podcast will feature one of our scholars in conversation with award winning coach, Steve Everett. Join us next time where we will once again seek to establish the voice and valor of Paul Leroy Robeson.
Music: Ballad for Americans part 1 https://archive.org/details/78_ballad-for-americans-part-2_paul-robeson-john-latouche-earl-robinson-american-peo_gbia0020370/01+-+Ballad+for+Americans+-+Part+1+-+Paul+Robeson.flac
Pride Month Celebration: Lawrence Brown
The brilliance of Lawrence Benjamin Brown, long-time Robeson accompanist and collaborator, is spotlighted for this month’s podcast. Biographical notes from the Lawrence Brown papers currently archived at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture of the New York Public Library provide key insights into Robeson’s career through his friend Lawrence Brown.
Music heard in the episode available online:
By and By (recording), 1945 https://archive.org/details/78_by-an-by_paul-robeson-lawrence-brown-h-t-burleigh_gbia0192460a
Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, 1945
Reflection on Robeson 125: Celebrating the life of Harry Belafonte with Mark Doss & Robeson Fellows
Introduction: Paul Robeson 125
Welcome to the May edition of the Paul Robeson House of Princeton podcast
This edition is our reflection on the wonderful two-week commemoration of the 125th birthday of Paul Robeson, Princeton’s native son.
In this issue we hear from American Bass Baritone Mark S. Doss who serenaded a cohort of Robeson Alliance members and Scholars along with several new friends at Lincoln Center’s Here I Stand concert. The intimate setting was the perfect launching point for our celebration.
We will also meet the adult class of Robeson Fellows this year—artists whose work has inspired us to think about poetry, photography, fashion and film in brand new ways. We will begin by pausing to remember the late, great Harry Belafonte—a civil rights icon, entertainment legend and friend of Paul Robeson who passed on April 25th 2023.
Part I: Tribute to Harry Belafonte
Born Harold George Belafonte, Jr. on March 1st 1927 in Harlem to Caribbean parents, Harry Belafonte built his career as an entertainer in the 50s and 60s but his legacy as a voice of consciousness and humanitarianism. With the 2020 release of Hulu’s documentary The Sit In, an entirely new generation was introduced to the transformative traditions of artist-activists. Mentored by Robeson, artists like Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Lena Horne, James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry shaped American political discourse well beyond Hollywood. Like Robeson whose love for humanity was undeniable, you can hear in every love song Belafonte sang, a deeper message of humanizing care and respect for the simple things.
Part II: Mark S. Dross Interview (Bass Baritone)
For two weeks from April 1st through April 15th, Robeson Alliance organizations celebrated the life and legacy of Paul Robeson. On Saturday, April 1st, we met in New York for dinner and a show at Lincoln Center’s Kenneth Griffin Sidewalk Studio. The featured artist was Bass Baritone Mark Stephen Doss. He sat down with me to share a little bit of his story.
Part III: Introducing the Robeson Fellows Class of 2023
We close by introducing you to the Paul Robeson House of Princeton Fellows for 2023 and a few highlights from our 125th birthday program.
Leonie Houndonde, Irvington, NJ
Serina Montero, Hamilton, NJ
Emily Morton, Vineland, NJ
Harry Belafonte, “Simple, Simple, Simple” (1950)
Paul Robeson, “Balm in Gilead” (1946)
Marian Anderson, “Hold On” (1948)
Paul Robeson, “Love Song” from Sanders of the River (1935)
Conversations about Robeson Day of Play & Tenor Lawrence Brownlee
Our February/March 2023 Episode spotlights conversations with Princeton Middle School Principal Jason Burr, Robeson Scholar Asma Qureshi and World Renowned Tenor Lawrence Brownlee. Princeton University Concerts welcomes Mr. Brownlee to Alexander Hall (Richardson Auditorium) on Wednesday, March 8th at 7:30pm. For more information: https://music.princeton.edu/event/lawrence-brownlee-tenor-and-kevin-j-miller-piano/
In the Background: Robeson sings Ballad for Americans [https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search/object/nmah_683711] recorded in 1940
Victor matrix BS-047035. Ballad for Americans / American People's Chorus ; Paul Robeson ; Victor Symphony Orchestra. (2023). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved January 14, 2023, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/index.php/matrix/detail/200042332/BS-047035-Ballad_for_Americans.
Enjoy Lawrence Brownlee's NPR Music TinyDesk concert of Negro Spirituals at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNY2u53wUbU (Set list: Balm in Gilead, All Night All Day (Caleb's Song), Come by here) accompanied by Justina Lee.
Joy of a King: Robeson Curriculum Exchange & Teach In
We share some of the voices and perspectives of participants who joined us on Monday, January 16th at the Martin Luther King [Day of Service] Curriculum Exchange and Teach In. We started the day acknowledging the labor and land of the people who have come before us, then joined our voices in the singing of Lift Every Voice and Sing, in honor of the presence of the ancestors on whose shoulders we stand.
It is important to us that we make ROBESON a HOUSEhold name. The ideas of legacy and Martin Luther King, planting seeds in the garden that all of us are, as a community, was a key goal of the day. We spent time thinking richly about what it means to be represented in the media, and how it is that Paul Robeson and Martin Luther King and the very many people in their lives in the 20th century ran together—in association and in community.
Lift Every Voice & Sing, J.W. Johnson & R. Johnson (1898), Performed by R.M.S. Irwin. Available online at https://play.hymnswithoutwords.com/lift-every-voice-and-sing/
Guests (In order of voice appearance, location)
Joie Toussaint-Parrish, Doula (NJ) https://www.joiedv.org/
Jeri Johnson, Educator (PA)
Brigette Harris, Educator (TX)
Derrick Grubb, Educator (MD)
Demetria Giles. Education Consultant (TN) *Freedom Reach Literary Society
Jamarious Ugochukwu, Educator (NJ)
Brieri Ake. Educator (NJ)
Marsha Hubbard (MD)
*Virtual participation partner
Roots & Branches: The Tallest Tree in Our Forest
The Board Program Committee End of the Year episode shares an adapted version of a talk given at The Arts Council of Princeton—one of our partner organizations—on Saturday, November 19th 2022. Titled Roots & Branches of the 20th century Black Arts Movement, this talk explains the unique mentoring relationship and influence of Paul Robeson on younger artists of the 20th century—namely Ossie Davis and Alvin Ailey. An original poem is shared that combines various styles of poetic meter to tell the story of Paul Robeson in four acts: Act I: Roots: Networks & Human Geography; Act II: The Forest: Adjacency & Influence; Act III: Branches: Freedom of Movement; Act IV: Black Joy: Blood Memories—Histories that celebrate our joys and our pains a collection and collective.
This episode will serve as a preview of programming for 2023-2024: the 125th birthday celebration of Mr. Paul Leroy Robeson.
Music heard during this episode includes:
- "A-train" [Midi] available at https://freemidi.org/download3-11302-take-the-a-train-duke-ellington
- "Joe Hill" [Voice] sung by Paul Robeson available at https://archive.org/details/raretunes_203_joe-hill
- "Didn't My Lord Deliver Daniel" [Instrumental] by Dee Yan Kee (www.instagram.com/deeyankey) available at https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Dee_Yan-Key/go-down-moses/didnt-my-lord-deliver-daniel/
Paul Robeson House of Princeton Scholar Conversation #2: Gratitude with Moji & Joycelyn
Two of our inaugural Robeson Scholars are now college freshman. Mojisola Ayodele, freshman at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) was one of our first Scholar-Athletes. Joycelyn Brobbey, freshman at Colgate University was one of our first Scholar-Artists. Both were activists in their high school and community. We catch up with them mid-way through their first full semester to check-in on their work. This conversation captures ideas that embody how Paul Robeson lived--having a keen awareness of life all around the world. Learn more about our Scholars online at https://thepaulrobesonhouseofprinceton.org/scholar/.
Paul Robeson House of Princeton Scholar Conversation #1: Let's talk about sex [education]
The Paul Robeson House of Princeton proudly presents conversations between the Inaugural Class of Paul Robeson Scholars, local high school students who have served their communities in areas of activism, athleticism and/or the arts, and community leaders and mentors. Honoring areas of Robesonian legacy, these youth will share their perspectives on important topics. The first episode between Scholar-Activist Jealyn Vega-Ramos (Class of 2023) and Susie Wilson, life-long advocate for quality sex education in New Jersey (and beyond), provides insight on the state of sex education and gender in our local context. Learn more about our Scholars online at https://thepaulrobesonhouseofprinceton.org/scholar