The Gift of India and the Violence of the West: Some Reflections

Can ye measure the grief of the tears I weep Or compass the woe of the watch I keep? Or the pride that thrills thro’ my heart’s despair And the hope that comforts the anguish of prayer? And the far sad glorious vision I see Of the torn red banners of victory? when the terror and the tumult of hate shall cease And life be refashioned on anvils of peace, And your love shall offer memorial thanks To the comrades who fought on the dauntless ranks, And you honour the deeds of the dauntless ones, Remember the blood of my … Continue reading The Gift of India and the Violence of the West: Some Reflections

Martin Luther King Jr., Statement on House Committee on Un-American Activities Hearings on the United Packinghouse Workers of America, June 11, 1959

The House Un-American Activities Committee was an American judicial commission that was established in 1938 under the Roosevelt presidency. HUAC vociferously attacked FDR even though the majority of the nation supported FDR and his social reforms at a time when the nation was emerging from a deep economic depression. HUAC targeted the growing peace movement in the United States, leading inquisitions against freedom-fighters like Paul Robeson and W.E.B. Du Bois, among others, for their support and sympathy with the cause of the Soviet Union. Like the people of the Soviet Union who overcame tsarist rule, Robeson and Du Bois were … Continue reading Martin Luther King Jr., Statement on House Committee on Un-American Activities Hearings on the United Packinghouse Workers of America, June 11, 1959

The Indian Press Defended Paul Robeson in 1947

As revolutionary India entered the world stage as a free nation in 1947, The Hindu, a widely read Indian newspaper, condemned the banning of Paul Robeson’s public performance in Peoria, Illinois as a consequence for his agitation for world peace and the freedom of oppressed peoples everywhere. “If Paul Robeson is un-American, so much the worse for America,” declared the writer of the piece. The article was republished on the first page of The Baltimore Afro-American on May 24, 1947 In 1956, Robeson would be viciously targeted for his support of the erstwhile Soviet Union and his lifelong admiration for … Continue reading The Indian Press Defended Paul Robeson in 1947

Oraa Aamaader Gaan Gaaite Dyay Naa: A Bengali Panegyric to Paul Robeson

On June 27, 1938, a large crowd of supporters welcomed Jawaharlal Nehru, the future Prime Minister of independent India, and Paul Robeson, African-American artist, leader, and freedom-fighter, at London’s Kingsway Hall. Rajani Palme Dutt, an Indo-Swede who served as the … Continue reading Oraa Aamaader Gaan Gaaite Dyay Naa: A Bengali Panegyric to Paul Robeson

“The Truth Shall Make You Free”: The Friendship Of Paul Robeson, Shirley Graham Du Bois, and W.E.B Du Bois

Paul Robeson was a great admirer of Dr. W.E.B Du Bois and was acutely sensitive to the significance of Du Bois’s contributions to literary, scientific, and philosophical inquiry in the common struggle of the dark nations against Western imperialism in … Continue reading “The Truth Shall Make You Free”: The Friendship Of Paul Robeson, Shirley Graham Du Bois, and W.E.B Du Bois