My father was a slave and my people died to build this country and I am going to stay here and have a part of it just like you.— Paul Robeson
The most off-limits Paul Robeson quotes that are proven to give you inner joy
The answer to injustice is not to silence the critic but to end the injustice.
Every artist, every scientist, every writer must decide now where he stands.
The artist must take sides. He must elect to fight for freedom or for slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative.
I do not hesitate one second to state clearly and unmistakably: I belong to the American resistance movement which fights against American imperialism, just as the resistance movement fought against Hitler.
To be free . . . to walk the good American earth as equal citizens, to live without fear, to enjoy the fruits of our toil, to give our children every opportunity in life--that dream which we have held so long in our hearts is today the destiny that we hold in our hands.
The faces and the tactics of the leaders may change every four years, or two, or one, but the people go on forever.
In Russia I felt for the first time like a full human being.
No color prejudice like in Mississippi, no color prejudice like in Washington. It was the first time I felt like a human being.
Through my singing and acting and speaking, I want to make freedom ring.
Maybe I can touch people's hearts better than I can their minds, with the common struggle of the common man.
You know I am an actor, and I have medals for diction.
The artist must elect to fight for Freedom or for Slavery.
Yes, I heard my people singing!-in the glow of parlor coal-stove and on summer porches sweet with lilac air, from choir loft and Sunday morning pews-and my soul was filled with their harmonies.
The Korean war has always been an unpopular war among the American people.
I did a long concert tour in England and Denmark and Sweden, and I also sang for the Soviet people, one of the finest musical audiences in the world.
Whether I am or am not a Communist is irrelevant.
The question is whether American citizens, regardless of their political beliefs or sympathies, may enjoy their constitutional rights.
I learned that along with the towering achievements of the cultures of ancient Greece and China there stood the culture of Africa, unseen and denied by the imperialist looters of Africa's material wealth.
With Othello, Shakespeare posed this problem of a black man in a white society in the role that he's playing. And Shakespeare gave Othello such dignity - he came not from - as he said - not from hate but from honor, from a sense of his own human dignity. And to me, to my mind, there could be no greater character played.
I stand here struggling for the rights of my people to be full citizens in this country. They are not-in Mississippi. They are not-in Montgomery. That is why I am here today. . . . You want to shut up every colored person who wants to fight for the rights of his people!.
In fact, because of this deep desire for peace, the ruling class leaders of this land, from 1945 on, stepped up the hysteria and propaganda to drive into American minds the false notion that danger threatened them from the East.
This United States Government should go down to Mississippi and protect my people. That is what should happen.
At every step the vast majority have expressed horror at the idea of an aggressive war.
Through the years I have received my share of recognition for efforts in the fields of sports, the arts, the struggle for full citizenship for the Negro people, labor's rights and the fight for peace.
I feel closer to my country than ever.
There is no longer a feeling of lonesome isolation. Instead-peace. I return without fearing prejudice that once bothered me . . . for I know that people practice cruel bigotry in their ignorance, not maliciously
And at home in the United States we found continued and increased persecution, first of leaders of the Communist Party, and then of all honest anti-fascists.
Why should the Negroes ever fight against the only nations of the world where racial discrimination is prohibited, and where the people can live freely? Never! I can assure you, they will never fight against either the Soviet Union or the peoples' democracies.
Americans will be amazed to find ho many of the modern dance steps are relics of the African heritage.
Vast quantities of U.S. bombers, tanks and guns have been sent against Ho Chi Minh and his freedom-fighters; and now we are told that soon it will be 'advisable' to send America GI's into Indo-China in order that the tin, rubber and tungsten of Southeast Asia be kept by the "free world"-meaning white Imperialism.
As an artist I come to sing, but as a citizen, I will always speak for peace, and no one can silence me in this.
When I sang my American folk melodies in Budapest, Prague, Tiflis, Moscow, Oslo, or the Hebrides or on the Spanish front, the people understood and wept or rejoiced with the spirit of the songs. I found that where forces have been the same, whether people weave, build, pick cotton, or dig in the mine, they understand each other in the common language of work, suffering, and protest.
And, gentlemen, they have not yet done so, and it is quite clear that no Americans, no people in the world probably, are going to war with the Soviet Union.
We ask for nothing that is not ours by right, and herein lies the great moral power of our demand.
Art is not just to show life as it is, but to show life as it should be.
Artists are the gatekeepers of truth.
If the United States and the United Nations truly want peace and security let them fulfill the hopes of the common people everywhere - let them work together to accomplish on a worldwide scale, precisely the kind of democratic association of free people which characterizes the Soviet Union today.
I am being tried for fighting for the right of my people, who are still second-class citizens in this United States of America.
But the deep desire for peace remained with the American people.
The course of history can be changed but not halted.
I've learned that my people are not the only ones oppressed.
.. I have sung my songs all over the world and everywhere found that some common bond makes the people of all lands take to Negro songs as their own.
The talents of an artist, small or large, are God-given... They are a sacred trust.
Yes, peace can and must be won, to save the world from the terrible destruction of World War III.
Films make me into some cheap turn...You bet they'll never let me play a part in a film where a Negro is on top.
We [must] realize that our future lies chiefly in our own hands.
In all spheres of modern life the influence of Stalin reaches wide and deep.
From his last simply written but vastly discerning and comprehensive document, back through the years, his contributions to the science of our world society remain invaluable. One reverently speaks of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin—the shapers of humanity’s richest present and future.
Could I say that the reason that I am here today, you know, from the mouth of the State Department itself, is: I should not be allowed to travel because I have struggled for years for the independence of the colonial peoples of Africa.
We must join with the tens of millions all over the world who see in peace our most sacred responsibility.
I know that if the peace movement takes its message boldly to the Negro people a powerful force can be secured in pursuit of the greatest goal of all mankind. And the same is true of labor and the great democratic sections of our population.
The intolerance of the few, or the risk of it, carries the day against the wider humanity of the many.
Freedom is a hard-bought thing.
Artists are the gate keepers of truth. We are civilization’s radical voice.
I said it was my feeling that the American people would struggle for peace, and that has since been underscored by the President of these United States.
Sometimes great injustices may be inflicted on the minority when the majority is in the pursuit of a great and just cause.