Paul Robeson – Singer of Peace

May 15, 2024 0 By Yatharth

The image of Paul Robeson, the eminent Negro singer and indefatigable fighter for peace and the freedom of the peoples, inspired the Soviet artists V. Polyakov, I. Radoman and K. Shats to paint a canvas dedicated to the Second World Peace Congress. I first made the acquaintance of Paul Robeson at the First World Peace Congress in Paris. Never shall I forget the enthusiastic, heartfelt welcome which he received from the delegates when he mounted the rostrum. Paul Robeson was the voice of all Negroes fighting for peace, for a life worthy of a human being. Where men and women are fighting for freedom, there the voice of Paul Robeson rings out. It has been heard time and time again—by the fighters of Republican Spain in the forward lines, by British workers, by working people of the People’s Democracies. He, the singer of freedom, has been warmly applauded by Soviet audiences. He is known in all corners of the world; he is dear to all men and women of good will even in places where he has never yet been. Speaking of himself, Paul Robeson has said: “I belong to that great majority of Americans who are convinced that all our international problems can be solved by peaceful means. That is the reason why we insist on the right to speak for peace….” The name, the voice of Paul Robeson, ardent fighter for equal rights for white and black, are hated by those who are preparing war, who hold small peoples in slavery and oppression. The American imperialists have forbidden Paul Robeson to leave the United States. They did not allow him to come to the Second World Peace Congress. But the voice of this singer of peace penetrated all cordons and sounded from the rostrum of the Warsaw Congress. Flow well I recall that prolonged Congress sitting drawn out until late in to the night, when suddenly we heard the voice of Paul Robeson. He greeted the delegates to the Congress, and he sang—his wonderful voice resounding powerfully, boldly, in Songs of Peace. Everybody was deeply moved. The Negroes jumped up onto the tables, smiles on their faces, tears in their eyes…. I am no writer and no artist, but I would like to give a picture of that moving, happy emotion which seized the delegates. Paul Robeson had sent a recording of his greeting to the Congress. Listening to the voice of the singer, we once again felt the strength of the unity of the fighters for peace, which surmounts all barriers and overcomes distance. We knew that Paul Robeson was absent from the Congress, but at the same time he was there with us, among us—a friend, comrade and fighter.