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PAUL L. ROBESON - AUTOGRAPH CIRCA 1930 - HFSID 89705

PAUL ROBESON His signature in purple pencil on an album leaf. Signature: "Paul Robeson", 4¼x3½ album leaf. Ink date (unknown hand) at lower right corner: "Golden Green/19-4-30".

Sale Price $126.00

Reg. $140.00

Condition: slightly creased, lightly soiled
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PAUL ROBESON
His signature in purple pencil on an album leaf.
Signature: "Paul Robeson", 4¼x3½ album leaf. Ink date (unknown hand) at lower right corner: "Golden Green/19-4-30". In the year he signed this autograph, Robeson appeared in one film, Borderline, and set up residence in England, where he first played Othello at the Savoy Theatre in London. He likely signed this autograph while on a concert tour of the British Isles. Actor, singer and athlete Paul Robeson (1898-1976), who was praised as an "eloquent, impressive, and convincing" actor, was chosen by playwright Eugene O'Neill to star in a revival of his The Emperor Jones (1924). Robeson later premiered in O'Neill's All God's Chillun Got Wings, but it was his rendition of "Ol' Man River" from Show Boat that brought him widest acclaim. Robeson's commanding presence and resonant bass voice were equally impressive in his efforts to urge Blacks to embrace their African heritage. An international star, he began his ties with the Soviet Union in 1934, when filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein invited him to Russia. Robeson was impressed with the country's equal treatment of the races and made a number of trips to the U.S.S.R., including opening 1959 with a Kremlin gala hosted by Nikita Khrushchev. His Soviet sympathies led to his being put under surveillance by the FBI in 1941 and put on the 1947 "black list" of suspected Communists, a charge that was later refuted. His "manifesto-autobiography" Here I Stand (1958) helped restore his passport, and thereafter he planned a world tour. However, ill-health and paranoia of CIA operatives (whom Robeson and his family accused of tampering with his mental stability using a CIA mind depatterning program called MKULTRA) pushed Robeson into a suicidal manic depressive state, and after attempts to end his own life, he was hospitalized. Between 1961 and 1963, he received ECT treatment in London, though with no psychotherapeutic care, his conditions only worsened. His family eventually relocated him to a Berlin hospital where he was treated. While he recovered, he lived out the remainder of his life deeply affected by his psychological trauma. Slightly creased at upper and lower blank margins. Slightly creased. Lightly soiled at blank areas. Overall, fine condition.

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