Shirley Graham Du Bois

Paul Robeson - Tallest tree in the forest - “High as the Mountains,” they said of him in Europe. And BIG ! That big smile embracing everybody in sight - and beyond; the big Voice speaking or singing. All-American, unexcelled at a people’s rally, on stage, or in the concert hall.


I took a picture of Paul and W.E.B at Stratford-on-Avon where we went to see him in “Othello”. He towers like a giant over my husband, but both of them stand so straight and gratified that their pride and joy in each other is caught by the camera.

I think of him leaning on the mantle of our sitting room in Grace Court, looking up at the painting of Frederick Douglass; W.E.B stretched out on his lounging chair before the fire and both of them talking. They loved to talk, to exchange ideas and experiences, to swap stories. And how they laughed together !

I remember that Sunday evening when he sang in London’s famous St Paul’s Cathedral - his magnificent voice rising to the vaulted dome, reflected in the stained glass windows and resting upon the hushed crowd like a benediction.

I never heard Paul say that Black is beautiful - he simply lives beautifully.

Paul Robeson - Symbol of Manhood, of Loyalty to the Best, the Unbowed and Undefeated : 

Paul Robeson - Beautiful !