- The Entertainer
loved singing and acting, so he decided to become a performer.
The first play he starred in was "All God's Chillun Got
Wings." People protested the play and made bomb threats
because a white actress played the role of his wife. But the
people didn't scare Robeson, and he continued to act.
loved Robeson's performances, and he became a role model for
other African-Americans. Success allowed him to inform people
about African-American history and culture. He turned down
roles that stereotyped African-Americans. In 1925, Robeson
decided to perform at a concert, singing black spirituals,
which are songs of the slaves. The show was an instant success
and led to albums and a tour.
toured all around the United States. Some cities wouldn't give
him a hotel room because they didn't want him to stay there,
but he never cancelled a performance. His tours even took him
to countries like England and Austria in Europe. Robeson enjoyed
being in England because people there treated him as an equal.
Traveling exposed him to different groups of people, and he
became a supporter of all minority groups.
performed in many different plays in England and in the United
States. His most famous role was in the musical "Showboat." He
performed the show in England, on Broadway in New York City,
and in a movie version. "Ol' Man River," a song from
the musical, became his signature song. He is also famous for
his role in the William Shakespeare play "Othello." He
was the first black actor to play Othello in almost 50 years.
Even though the character is African-American, white actors
had traditionally played the part with black face make up.
Robeson liked the part because it was a good role for an African-American
Next: Robeson -- The Activist