Paul Robeson

By Curriculum Connections, School Library Journal

As inspiring today as it was more than 30 years ago. Beginning with a dramatic recounting of [Robeson’s] father’s escape from slavery, the narrative provides just the right amount of depth for young readers, describing Robeson’s youth in New Jersey, his education, and the many roles he played an adult—actor, singer, social activist, and orator. The elegant and succinct text highlights particular incidents—a young Paul engaging in fistfights motivated by racial slurs, singing in the church choir, and later encountering instances of prejudice at Rutgers University—that will help youngsters to understand his motivations and passion for fighting injustice. Set against a warm, cream backdrop, George Ford’s stirring monochromatic illustrations use strong lines and shading to convey Robeson’s power as a performer and his unwavering sense of purpose.