A Model for Tomorrow: Using Paul Robeson to Teach Human and Gender Rights. (Activity)

By Jones, Ida E. | Negro History Bulletin, January-September 1996 | Go to article overview

A Model for Tomorrow: Using Paul Robeson to Teach Human and Gender Rights. (Activity)


Jones, Ida E., Negro History Bulletin


The following unit is designed to help students practice reading, writing and listening skills while learning about an important person in American history and his ideas about some important problems (racial discrimination and gender inequality) that created a great deal of conflict in America between 1900 and 1970.

At the end of this unit student will be able to:

(1) Identify Paul Robeson

(2) Discuss racial discrimination in America

(3) Discuss gender inequality in America

(4) Explain the interconnectedness of racial and gender inequality in American history

Background:

In reviewing the life, times and experiences of Paul Robeson, one cannot help but stand in awe of such a magnanimous personality. His talent, fortitude and perseverance are characteristic of many things lived by, believed in and at times died for: his family, his generation and moreover, his African American community. This article highlights three aspects that helped shape Paul Robeson's world view: the condition of African Americans during the his lifetime; the actual experience of his life; and his attempts to force the issue of equality from simply a matter of color discrimination to global equality and that of gender equity.

Paul Robeson enters the mortal realm at a peculiar time for America in general and African Americans in particular. The America that contributed to the personality of Paul Robeson reaches back to the mid-nineteenth century. Robeson's parents, William Drew Robeson and Maria Louisa Bustill were products of this era. During the nineteenth century Robeson's parents were literally between slavery and freedom. His father was born into slavery on the Robeson plantation in Cross Roads Township in North Carolina, and his mother was born free in Pennsylvania to the Bustill's, a notable Philadelphia family. Both his parents provided their children with a panoramic vision of the collective African American experience.

For most African American's of the nineteenth century the American south in rural to semi-rural areas were places they lived prior to and after the Emancipation Proclamation. Historian Deborah Newman-Ham states in The African American Mosaic that when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed less than 8 percent of the African American population lived in the Northeast or Midwest. Even by 1900, approximately 90 percent of all African Americans still resided in the South. However, migration from the South has long been a significant feature of black history. An early exodus from the South occurred between 1879 and 1881, when about 60,000 African Americans moved into Kansas and others settled in the Oklahoma Indian Territories in search of social and economic freedom. Towards this end the flow of information amongst the domestic African American population was spreading as opportunities for land, dignity and a prosperous future lay ahead in uncharted territories such as the Midwest and the urban Northwest and Northeast.

Newman-Ham continues to note that in the early decades of the twentieth century, movement of blacks to the North increased tremendously. The reasons for this Great Migration, as it came to be called, are complex. Thousands of African Americans left the South to escape sharecropping, worsening economic conditions, and the lynch mob. They sought higher wages, better homes, and political rights. In the meantime, mainstream American society was bustling with a number of issues from Asian and Southeastern Europe immigration, to that of the domestic insurgence of the African Americans--the urban landscape was changing in demographic arenas.

Concurrently, historian Rayford Logan noted that from 1877 to about 1920 (from the presidential administrations of Rutherford B. Hayes to Woodrow Wilson), the federal government promoted racism and racist ideology to permeate the African American community. It is during these bipolar times of African American's propulsion from the South and exclusion within the North that the segregated urban enclaves would become a Canaan land for African American southerners, West Indians, Irish, Italian, Jews, Germans, Polish and Asian peoples. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Model for Tomorrow: Using Paul Robeson to Teach Human and Gender Rights. (Activity)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.