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Sample Resolution

Sample Resolution in Support of Robeson Centennial events; based on a resolution of the Central Labor Council of Alameda County, California AFL-CIO.

Send to higher bodies of your union and to local newspapers with a copy to:

Robeson Centennial Committee, Center for Black Music Research
Columbia College, 600 S Michigan Avenue,
Chicago IL 60605

or email to:

Web Site:

Resolution In Support Of The Paul Robeson Centennial

Whereas, April 9, 1998 will mark the 100th birthday of Paul Robeson, great actor, athlete, scholar and fighter for the civil rights of people throughout the world; and

Whereas, Paul Robeson, son of a runaway slave rose to prominence when segregation was legal in the U.S. and Black people were being lynched by white mobs; and

Whereas, Paul Robeson's life of achievement in so many spheres made him truly one of this century's Renaissance figures whose life should be heralded as a role model for young people everywhere; and

Whereas, Paul Robeson in his travels pursuing his acting and singing career, met future leaders of the anti-colonial movements in Africa and Asia, used his great talents to share his own people's culture along with that of others, to benefit the social movements of his time, and sang throughout the world for peace and justice in 25 languages; and

Whereas, as Paul Robeson's political consciousness grew with the rise of fascism in Europe, he donated the proceeds of All God's Chillun to Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler in 1933, traveled to Spain the next year to support the anti-fascist forces in that country's civil war declaring that "The artist must take sides. He must elect to fight for freedom or slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative"; and

Whereas, Paul Robeson spoke out strongly for the rights of working people throughout the world--in support of the Ford workers in Detroit, against passage of the Taft- Hartley Act in the United States, for the coal miners in Wales, the oppressed workers in South Africa and on behalf of so many others; and

Whereas, Paul Robeson was made an honorary member of many unions including ILWU, Actors Equity, the Marine Cooks and Stewards, the National Maritime Union, the Transport Workers' Union, and State, County and Municipal Workers of America; and

Whereas, Paul Robeson because of his outspokenness against racism and colonialism, for peace and the rights of working people was accused by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) of being a Communist and this accusation along with the State Department's revocation of his passport in 1950 for a period of eight years (until it was restored by action of the Supreme Court) nearly ended his career; and

Whereas, the persecution which Paul Robeson suffered during the McCarthy Era represents the types of actions the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights were designed to prevent, Paul Robeson was denied this protection and sacrificed his fame and fortune and endured great personal hardship to stand fast for the principles in which he believed; and

Whereas, Paul Robeson to this day remains world famous outside the United States, yet has been tragically almost forgotten in the land of his birth, and is virtually unknown among our youth for whom he could serve as a role model of the highest quality for his courage, dignity, and integrity; and

Now, Therefore Be It Resolved that [insert name of appropriate labour body] endorse the efforts of the Paul Robeson Centennial Committee to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Paul Robeson's birthday by stimulating activities to gain public recognition for the life, career and legacy of Paul Robeson and to emphasize activities that will recognize his contribution to the struggle of working people throughout the world and to educate young people about Paul Robeson and especially his support for the rights of labour;


Be It Further Resolved that [insert name of appropriate labour body] request [insert name of next higher body], to adopt this resolution.

Signed _______________________________________