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Paul Robeson: Entertainer and Activist title graphic

photo of Paul Robeson



College Days

- The Entertainer

- The Activist



College Days
February 2002

In 1915 Robeson won a four-year scholarship to Rutgers College. He was only the third African-American to attend the school. At Rutgers, Robeson faced a lot of racism, especially from his teammates in football. They attacked him and didn't want him to play. But Robeson wouldn't leave the team, and eventually his teammates accepted him and grew to like him.

Robeson worked hard and succeeded at everything he tried at Rutgers. He was a star athlete in football, basketball, baseball, and track. In speaking competitions, he won first place. He also did well in all his classes and graduated as class valedictorian. This meant that he had the highest grades in the whole class and gave a speech at graduation.

After graduating from college, Robeson went to law school while playing professional football. While in law school he fell in love with Eslanda "Essie" Goode, and they married in 1921. After receiving his law degree, Robeson joined a law firm, but quit after a white secretary refused to work with him.

Next: Robeson -- The Entertainer

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