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David Lander

Review: Paul Robeson's roots examined in 'Tallest Tree in the Forest'

Review: Paul Robeson's roots examined in 'Tallest Tree in the Forest'

Multi-hyphenated celebrities are all the rage these days, but none can match the gravitas of Paul Robeson.

Singer, classical actor and civil rights activist, Robeson (1898-1976) had given up a career in law to pursue the stage after distinguishing himself as a scholar and an athlete. There was no discipline, it seemed, that he could not conquer.

Fame provided a platform for him to speak out against oppression in America, and that is where the plot shifts in the glorious biographical narrative of an overachieving son of a minister father who had been born a slave. Robeson's prodigious and pioneering acclaim gets tangled in Red-baiting controversy.

Daniel Beaty brings this...

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