Arts & Entertainment

Play About Paul Robeson Set for Feb. 19 at Fanwood Library

February 4, 2014 at 2:01 PM

In honor of Black History Month, the Fanwood Memorial Library  will present the one-man play "Paul Robeson, A Chautauqua" featuring actor Marvin Jefferson on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. This remarkable one-person show is free and open to the public

Mr. Jefferson brings the life of Princeton-born Paul Robeson alive through first person historical characterization. Paul Robeson’s remarkable life (1898-1976) lends itself well to dramatic performance. Born to a former slave, Robeson graduated valedictorian in 1919 from Rutgers University where he earned 12 letters in athletics. While receiving a law degree at Columbia University in New York City, he met people in the theatre, which led to leading roles in Eugene O’Neill plays and a career on stage and in film.  His theatrical and concert tours took him to England, Ireland, Germany, Russia, and France, further boosting his popularity.  Robeson believed he could promote intercultural understanding by performing African-American spirituals and songs from other cultures. Yet his own government took his American passport, fearful of his belief that all people are equal.

Marvin Jefferson has been building a national reputation for his portrayal of Paul Robeson over the past 16 years. Appearances included performing at both the Nevada and Ohio Chautauqua festivals.

This program is funded by the Horizons Speakers Bureau of the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities and by the Friends of the Fanwood Memorial Library.  Registration for this free program is required. To sign up, or to view other upcoming programs, call the Library at 908-322-6400 or visit our website

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