Paul Robeson

Our friend Anthony Dubovsky sent this song (above), one we have sung before, and this picture (below) I had not seen before of Paul Robeson singing to and with workers at Moore Shipyard in Oakland, California, in September, 1942.

Here is some more biographical information on Paul Robeson. People say Occupy looks like various things but if it looks like something other than itself I think it looks most, although not exactly, like the labor and civil rights movements. Those took a long time. 50,000 African American laborers marched on Washington to demonstrate against employment discrimination in 1941, for example.

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In Houston I did not visit the Occupy camp although I wanted to see whether it was as ragtag as the mainstream press claimed it was. There was a full page ad for it in the Free Press, and it was exciting to realize one was in a city that had an Occupy camp. Next week I am going to New Orleans and we will see if there is still one there by then.

I immersed myself in art. I saw the new Almodóvar film and was not convinced – although I rarely am by him. Then I went to the Museum of Fine Art where I saw things from the Kingdom of Iran and thought I might like to read the Shahmaneh (as we know, one of my visions of bliss is a PhD program in Near Eastern Studies in some dry setting like UCLA). There were short experimental films from San Francisco, from the corpus surrounding this book, and they were very interesting.

I spoke to a faculty spouse from Austin. They are from San Francisco/Berkeley and feel uprooted. They kept their house back home and they go there four months a year, but it is still hard. I could muse on this in various ways including: Austin isn’t like Berkeley – it’s its own place, and I think those comparisons of Austin – Berkeley – Boulder – Madison – Ann Arbor are misleading, and it’s hard for uprooted spouses, and I’d enjoy being UT faculty with a house in Berkeley.

Axé.


2 thoughts on “Paul Robeson

  1. Fun to be out and about, isn’t it.
    I am disenchanted with Almodavar, although I appreciate his art. I’m tired of his take on women, actually.
    I like what a Swiss woman said once about being uprooted: thrive where you are transplanted. Which seems to be what you are doing.
    I’m glad the world has not discovered Hilo, Hawaii, because it’s the ideal spot for me!

  2. Yes, it’s fun! And yes, I’m bored with his take on women. Have been for some time.
    Thrive where you are transplanted. Yes, I believe in this although not all soil is good.
    But. Major steps ahead this semester. I am thinking I might not want to quit academia after all.
    Or even need to move to survive.
    This is really, really new.

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