Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fear and the Robeson Riots of 1949

On August 27, 1949, Paul Robeson's scheduled singing appearance at the Lakeland picnic grounds in Westchester County, NY was disrupted by a riot instigated and provoked by whites angry at Robeson's link to Communist Russia.

It is the same mental malady that has plagued many Americans since the first settlers -- Fear. There was the fear of black people, the fear of Russian Communism, the fear Arabs, the fear of illegal aliens, the fear of... well, you get it. Unfortunately, much of this fear is based on prejudice, assumption, and hearsay.

It's always good for Americans or any nation to protest and take to the streets on issues important to them. However, this civic right and passion should never result in riot or physical harm to others. It should never be, for example, the shouting matches that we are seeing now in Town Hall meetings concerning President Obama's Health Care Reform. It should always be reasonable dialogue that is even toned and productive in its objective and goals. Is this possible? I don't know, but this is something that I will continue to promote and strive for. Peace~

Well, do you want to know more about the Robeson Riots? Click here...


Babz Rawls Ivy said...

It is nice to pop over here and get my history fix!

Hope all is well with you and your family :)

Stephen A. Bess said...

Hey Lovebabz! Good to see you. I'll have to return the visit. Peace~

Mickle in NZ said...

Paul Robeson was so respected here. Folks try a different google way - go first to, then search on Mr Robeson's name. You'll have a chance to get to learn about the care and respect he had here.

Such a rich, strong and glorious voice - thank goodness for sound recordings, sso available to us.

Michelle in New Zealand, xxx

Stephen A. Bess said...

Hey Michelle! Thanks for this info. Yes, Paul Robeson had so much international appeal. As a matter of fact, I think that he was more loved and respected across the world than here in the US. I'll check the link.

neena maiya (guyana gyal) said...

Hi Stephen, speaking of fear, there's a very interesting book - from the seventies, I think - Love is letting go of fear. No, it's not romantic love, it's about living a fear-free life.