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ERIC Number: ED462355
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Many Faces of Paul Robeson. The Constitution Community: Postwar United States (1945 to Early 1970s).
Kelly, Kerry C.
Paul Robeson was an athlete-scholar-concert artist-actor who was also an activist for civil and human rights. The son of a former slave, he was born and raised during segregation, lynching, and open racism. Robeson was one of the top performers of his time, earning more money than many white entertainers. His travels overseas opened his awareness to the universality of human suffering and oppression. His outspokenness and pro-Soviet stance made him a target of militant anti-communists. In 1950 the State Department revoked his passport, thereby denying him the right to travel and to earn money abroad. Robeson filed a lawsuit for reinstatement of his passport. In 1958 the Supreme Court agreed with Robeson, ruling that the State Department could not deny citizens the right to travel because of their political beliefs. This lesson relates to Article I, Section 9, of the U.S. Constitution, which states that the migration of people should not be prohibited by Congress, and to the First Amendment right of free speech, press, and assembly. The lesson correlates to the National History Standards and the National Standards for Civics and Government. It offers three primary source documents, a photograph, a painting, and a drawing of Paul Robeson. The lesson provides historical background (with nine resources); and suggests diverse teaching activities, including brainstorming, document analysis, comparing time periods, oral performances, constitutional connection, and creative interpretation. Appended are photograph analysis, written document analysis, sound recording analysis, and motion picture analysis worksheets and the documents. (BT)
National Archives and Records Administration, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20408. Tel: 866-325-7208 (Toll Free); e-mail: For full text:
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: United States Constitution