The Battleground Is Here, No. 1, 1971
The following is an address by Paul Robeson to the Annual Convention of the National Negro Labor Council, November 21, 1952, in Cleveland, Ohio.
I have been in many labor battles. It has seemed strange to some that, having attained some status and acclaim as an artist I should devote so much time and energy to the problems and struggles of working men and women.
To me, of course, it is not strange at all. I have simply tried never to forget the soil from which I spring.
Never to forget the rich but abused earth on the eastern coast of North Carolina where my father -- not my grandfather -- was a slave; and where today many of my cousins and relatives still live in poverty and second-class citizenship.
Never to forget the days of my youth -- struggling to get through school, working in brick yards, in hotels, on docks and riverboats, battling prejudice and proscription -- inspired and guided forward by