Arts Listings

Paul Robeson Exhibit Extended

Friday July 28, 2006

The exhibit “Paul Robeson: The Tallest Tree in Our Forest,” has been extended through Aug. 26. at the African American Museum and Library at Oakland, 659 14th St., Oakland. 

The exhibit honors the contributions and legacy of Paul Robeson, scholar, singer, actor, athlete, and human rights activist. The multimedia exhibit features photographs, original art, documents on loan from the collection of the Bay Area Paul Robeson Centennial Committee, as well as video and audio presentations about Robeson’s early life, his careers on stage and in film, and his political awakening. 

Born the son of a former slave in 1898, Robeson rose to fame as a powerful actor and singer, but his career suffered when he became an outspoken critic of inequality and racism.  

“Standing steadfast to his convictions, he drew the wrath of many, becoming the target of a state-sponsored effort to erase his very being, ridicule his faith, and deny his right as an American citizen to the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness,” Chief Curator Rick Moss said. “The exhibit’s modest examination of this complex man cannot begin to reveal all that he was, or the extent to which his sacrifices paved the way for the Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the 1950s and ‘60s social and political movements that radically altered the fabric of our nation.”  

Robeson died in 1976.  

The display opened April 8 and was initially scheduled to close July 8 before being extended. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, noon to 5:30 p.m. Free admission; wheelchair accessible.