The corner of Witherspoon and Wiggins streets in Princeton is home to the Princeton Public Library and the Arts Council of Princeton. If you are in the neighborhood, you’ll notice a statue of Paul Robeson on the sidewalk, marking the spot where Wiggins Street becomes Paul Robeson Place. Walk up Witherspoon, past the Arts Council’s Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, and the first house you see is Robeson’s birthplace.
Native son Paul Robeson was an African-American athlete, scholar, singer, actor, and advocate for the civil rights of people around the world. His accomplishments include athletic and scholarly achievements at Rutgers University and Columbia Law School, eleven films, seven Broadway plays, numerous musical recordings, and world tours of theatrical and speaking engagements to promote African and African-American history and culture. Robeson was an outspoken advocate against racism, who supported labor and peace.
Please explore the life and work of Robeson in our neighborhood. Visit the Princeton Room on the second floor of the library and get a close up view of Antonio Salemme’s sculpture of his friend. We have prepared two staff picks lists of Robeson materials in our collection: Paul Robeson books at the library and Paul Robeson films and music at the library will guide you to relevant and interesting items.
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