The book that I was given to read for this assignment was entitled: The Young Paul Robeson. The book was an autobiography and was written by Lloyd Brown who was a close and dear friend of Paul for many years. The friendship that they had deeply influenced the writing of this book, Paul felt at ease with Lloyd and wasn't afraid to open up and share past experiences of his life. Paul wasn't open to talking with just anyone, toward the end of his rather fulfilling life he even opted to not talk to people when they came by to visit and was often regarded as a "virtual zombie"(p 138).
The life and struggles of Paul Robeson are clearly depicted in this book. Growing up in the early 1900's luck was not on the side of the black man but you never would have known that Paul Robeson, being a black man, would be able to accomplish so much in his life. This book wasn't written to depict the life of a struggling African American in the 1900's this book was written to depict the life of a humble, fascinating and well-educated man named Paul Robeson.
As soon as Paul was born he was faced with adversity, he would be born into a neighborhood that didn't house that many blacks and the political ideas of the town leaders were not always in-favor of blacks. One of the leading members of the society was a teacher at Princeton (and later President) Woodrow Wilson who was adamantly against the desegregation of schools. Paul didn't stay in this town very long when he was just a young boy his father, Rev. Robeson, moved himself and his youngest son Paul to the nearby town of Westfield, New Jersey which had even fewer blacks than the previous town of Princeton.
Growing up in Westfield, since there were so little blacks, Paul was forced to go to school with the white children. Going to grammar school with white children was obviously a step in the right direction as far as Paul's education because the education he was to receive at that institution would be better one then he would receive at an all black school.