Robeson was born on April 9, 1898, in Princeton, New Jersey.
His father began life as a slave but escaped and became a pastor.
When Robeson was young, his father lost his job as pastor and
had to support the family by driving carriages. His mother
was a schoolteacher, but she died when Robeson was only six.
family moved to Somerset in 1910, and his father became a pastor
at another church. His father encouraged his son to learn as
much as possible. He wanted Robeson to overcome the discrimination
(different, unfavorable treatment) that he might receive because
he was African-American. At school, Robeson did well in academics,
music, singing, and sports. Robeson wanted to use his education
and talents to represent his race. He wanted to break stereotypes
about African-Americans and become a role model. (Stereotyping
is assuming that everyone in a group of people has the same
Robeson entered high school, there were only 12 African-Americans
in his class of 200. He met many white students and got along
with them. But he knew he would never be fully accepted because
he was black.
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