Our latest collection of Paul Robeson quotes on Everyday Power blog.
Paul Robeson was an American scholar, athlete, actor, singer and activist known for his cultural accomplishments and for his political activism.
Robeson knew both hardship and the determination to rise above it. He rose to prominence in a time when segregation was legal in the US and became an advocate for the civil rights of people around the world.
Born on April 9, 1898 in Princeton, New Jersey, Paul Robeson was educated at Rutgers College and Columbia University. He later became active in the Civil Rights Movement and was also a figure in the Harlem Renaissance.
Robeson’s talents made him a revered man of his time. Despite the challenges he faced, he rose to became one of the greatest Americans of the twentieth century.
Paul Robeson died on January 23, 1976, at age 77, in Philadelphia, leaving behind a legacy of achievement. We should remember him for the courage and the dignity with which he struggled for the rights of all people.
In honor of a citizen of the world, below is our collection of inspirational, powerful, and courageous Paul Robeson quotes, collected from a variety of sources over the years.
Paul Robeson quotes celebrating peace and responsibility
1. “As an artist I come to sing, but as a citizen, I will always speak for peace, and no one can silence me in this.” – Paul Robeson
2. “We must join with the tens of millions all over the world who see in peace our most sacred responsibility.” – Paul Robeson
3. “This is the basis, and I am not being tried for whether I am a Communist, I am being tried for fighting for the rights of my people, who are still second-class citizens in this United States of America.” – Paul Robeson
4. “Through the years I have received my share of recognition for efforts in the fields of sports, the arts, the struggle for full citizenship for the Negro people, labor’s rights and the fight for peace.” – Paul Robeson
5. “But the deep desire for peace remained with the American people.” – Paul Robeson
6. “The telling of these truths is an important part of our work in building a strong and broad peace movement in the United States.” – Paul Robeson
7. “For many years I have so labored and I can say modestly that my name is very much honored all over Africa, in my struggles for their independence.” – Paul Robeson
8. “Once we are joined together in the fight for peace we will have to talk to each other and tell the truth about each other. How else can peace be won?” – Paul Robeson
9. “As Americans, preserving the best of our traditions, we have the right- nay the duty-to fight for participation in the forward march of humanity.” – Paul Robeson
10. “Freedom is a hard-bought thing and millions are in chains, but they strain toward the new day drawing near.” – Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson quotes on peace, justice and responsibility
11. “Like any other people, like fathers, mothers, sons and daughters in every land, when the issue of peace or war has been put squarely to the American people, they have registered for peace.” – Paul Robeson
12. “We must realize that our future lies chiefly in our own hands.” – Paul Robeson
13. “If the United States and the United Nations truly want peace and security let them fulfill the hopes of the common people everywhere – let them work together to accomplish on a worldwide scale, precisely the kind of democratic association of free people which characterizes the Soviet Union today.” – Paul Robeson
If you’re enjoying these quotes, you’ll love our collection of world peace quotes to give you hope for humanity.
14. “The course of history can be changed but not halted.” – Paul Robeson
15. “Sometimes great injustices may be inflicted on the minority when the majority is in the pursuit of a great and just cause.” – Paul Robeson
16. “I feel closer to my country than ever. There is no longer a feeling of lonesome isolation. Instead-peace. I return without fearing prejudice that once bothered me . . . for I know that people practice cruel bigotry in their ignorance, not maliciously.” – Paul Robeson
17. “The faces and the tactics of the leaders may change every four years, or two, or one, but the people go on forever. The people- beaten down today, yet rising tomorrow; losing the road one minute but finding it the next; their eyes always fixed on a star of true brotherhood, equality and dignity- the people are the real guardians of our hopes and dreams.” – Paul Robeson
18. “Through my singing and acting and speaking, I want to make freedom ring. Maybe I can touch people’s hearts better than I can their minds, with the common struggle of the common man.” – Paul Robeson
19. “Whether I am or am not a Communist is irrelevant. The question is whether American citizens, regardless of their political beliefs or sympathies, may enjoy their constitutional rights.” – Paul Robeson
20. “Get them to sing your song and they will want to know who you are.” – Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson quotes to inspire courage and dignity
21. “We ask for nothing that is not right, and herein lies the great power of our demand.” – Paul Robeson
22. “To be free . . . to walk the good American earth as equal citizens, to live without fear, to enjoy the fruits of our toil, to give our children every opportunity in life–that dream which we have held so long in our hearts is today the destiny that we hold in our hands.” – Paul Robeson
23. “The talents of an artist, small or great, are God-given. They’ve nothing to do with the private person; they’re nothing to be proud of. They’re just a sacred trust… Having been given, I must give. Man shall not live by bread alone, and what the farmer does I must do. I must feed the people – with my songs.” – Paul Robeson
24. “Every artist, every scientist, every writer must decide now where he stands. The artist must take sides. He must elect to fight for freedom or for slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative.” – Paul Robeson
25. “I shall take my voice wherever there are those who want to hear the melody of freedom or the words that might inspire hope and courage in the face of fear. My weapons are peaceful, for it is only by peace that peace can be attained. The song of freedom must prevail.” – Paul Robeson
26. “The answer to injustice is not to silence the critic but to end the injustice.” – Paul Robeson
27. “The large question as to which society is better for humanity is never settled by argument. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Let the various social systems compete with one another under conditions of peaceful coexistence, and the people can decide for themselves.” – Paul Robeson
28. “The intolerance of the few, or the risk of it, carries the day against the wider humanity of the many.” – Paul Robeson
29. “This is our home and this is our country. Beneath its soil lie bones of our fathers; for it some of them fought, bled, and died. Here we were born and here we will stay.” – Paul Robeson
30. “I know that if the peace movement takes its message boldly to the Negro people a powerful force can be secured in pursuit of the greatest goal of all mankind. And the same is true of labor and the great democratic sections of our population.” – Paul Robeson
Did you enjoy these Paul Robeson quotes?
Paul Robeson was a champion of peace and working people. He spoke out against racism and used his voice to promote equality and to share the cultures of other countries.
Although every attempt was made to silence and discredit him, Robeson never relented in his quest to fight for justice and peace. Hopefully, the above quotes
Did you enjoy these Paul Robeson quotes? Which of the quotes was your favorite? Let us know in the comment section below.
May 5, 2019 8:45 AM EST