Faculty, chairs, and deans are invited to join historian Lindsey R. Swindall and actor Grant Cooper as they discuss the life of singer, actor, and civil rights activist Paul Robeson and their efforts to capture his legacy in the written and dramatic forms. This session will revolve around Swindall's biography of Robeson, Paul Robeson: A Life of Activism and Art.
Lunch will be served. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, February 22 to RSVP and reserve a copy of the book.
The location of this event is to be determined.
Book Description from Amazon:
Paul Robeson: A Life of Activism and Art is the biography of an African American icon and a demonstration of historian Lindsey R. Swindall's knack for thorough, detailed research and reflection. Paul Robeson was, at points in his life, an actor, singer, football player, political activist and writer, one of the most diversely talented members of the Harlem Renaissance. Swindall centers Robeson's story around the argument that while Robeson leaned toward Socialism, a Pan-African perspective is fundamental to understanding his life as an artist and political advocate. Many previous works on Robeson have focused primarily on his involvement with the US Communist Party, paying little attention to the broader African influences on his politics and art. With each chapter focused on a decade of his life, this book affords us a fresh look at his story, and the ways in which the struggles, successes and studies of his formative years came to shape him as an artist, activist and man later on. Robeson’s story is one not simply of politics and protest, but of a man’s lifelong evolution from an athlete to an entertainer to an indispensible man of letters and African American thought. Swindall neatly outlines the events of Robeson's life in a way that freshly presents him as a man whose work was influenced by more than just his circumstances, but by a spirit rooted in dedication to the African's place in American art and politics.
Lindsey R. Swindall earned a doctorate in Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is a teaching assistant professor in the College of Arts and Letters at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. She has written three books about African American culture and political activism: The Politics of Paul Robeson's Othello, The Path to the Greater, Freer, Truer World: Southern Civil Rights and Anticolonialism, 1937-1955, and Paul Robeson: A Life of Activism and Art which recently came out in paperback.
Grant Cooper, an actor and stand-up comedian, has lived and worked in New York City for over twenty-five years. He has performed in national commercials, comedy festivals, and at comedy clubs in and around New York City. He has also worked full time as an actor for over twelve years with the NYPD training new recruits, and training police to engage more effectively with the mentally ill through the Crisis Intervention Team. This initiative from the mayor's office was recently featured in an Associated Press news article.