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The Politics of Paul Robeson's Othello$

Lindsey R. Swindall

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781604738247

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604738247.001.0001

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(p.229) Index

(p.229) Index

Source:
The Politics of Paul Robeson's Othello
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
Aaron the Moor (Titus Andronicus), 12, 15, 22
Abraham Lincoln Brigade, 52, 68
Africa:
Bandung conference and, 149–50;
CAA and, 52, 123–24, 130, 137, 140–41, 148;
civil rights and, 168–69;
colonies in, 8, 10, 61, 66, 140, 148, 169;
culture of, 10, 23, 33, 52, 113;
Elizabethan England and, 12–15, 29;
Freedom on, 138–39;
C. L. R. James on, 60, 62–64;
and slavery, 23, 92;
Africanus, Leo, 14, 29
Aldridge, Amanda, 23, 34
Aldridge, Ira, viii, 7, 15, 20, 22, 23, 34, 38, 98, 106, 107, 119, 147
All God’s Chillun Got Wings, 5
American Federation of Labor (AFL), 26
A.M.E. Zion Church, 5, 24, 58, 142, 164
Anticommunism:
colonialism and, 136, 148–49, 152, 167, 169;
Peekskill and, 132;
Robeson’s passport case and, 148;
Antifascism:
Robeson’s position on, 8, 52, 61, 64–67, 71, 105–6, 108, 109, 121, 127, 135, 194;
Soviet Union and, 128;
U.S. policy and, 125. See also Fascism
Arab vs. Ethiopian debate, concerning Othello’s character, 29, 42, 47, 87
Ashcroft, Peggy, 31–32, 34–35, 38–39, 42, 49, 78, 170, 177, 182
“Ballad for Americans,” 111–12, 128
Bandung conference, 137, 140, 149
Bethune, Mary McLeod, 119, 124, 130
Broadway, 4, 7, 10, 16, 20, 40, 49, 51, 121, 126, 137, 160, 162, 184, 193;
Othello revival on, 10, 19, 20, 33, 35, 38, 52, 60, 64, 69–107, 108–10, 115, 117, 135, 169, 175, 177, 179, 180, 185, 194
Brown, Lawrence, 37, 120, 157, 186–87
Brown, Lloyd, 138, 143, 147, 192
Browne, Maurice, 28, 32–37, 39, 43, 46, 48–49, 77
Canada, 104, 147;
concerts at Peace Arch Park, 157, 160;
Robeson turned away at border, 155
Carnegie Hall, 26, 59, 162–63
Civil Rights Congress (CRC), 51, 123, 132, 137, 153;
dissolution of, 155, 164, 168;
petition to United Nations, 154
Cold war:
anticommunism and, 132, 149, 184;
Bandung conference and, 149;
colonies in Africa and, 128, 139, 168;
HUAC and, 158;
Paris Peace Conference and, 128, 130;
passport revocations during, 145, 172;
peace with Soviets during, 25, 123, 135;
repression of civil liberties in U.S. (p.230) during, 5, 8, 132, 135, 150–51, 160, 169;
Robeson’s repertoire during, 10, 132, 137, 152–66, 189;
Stratford Othello revival and, 7, 177, 180, 181, 194;
U.S. foreign policy during, 141, 190
Colonialism:
Britain and, 12, 59, 62, 99, 180;
and cultural theory, 13;
W. E. B. Du Bois on, 130;
C. L. R. James on, 62–63, 99;
Robeson on, 60–61, 64, 67, 75, 128, 135, 145–46, 157, 194;
Soviet Union and, 164;
struggle against, 63–64, 123–24, 139, 148–49;
U.S. policy and, 8, 124, 136, 140, 148
Communism:
and African Americans, 51, 164;
in China, 129;
HUAC and, 158–59;
and Korea, 136;
Truman Doctrine and, 136. See also Anticommunism; Communist Party in U.S.
Communist Party in U.S. (CPUSA):
and African Americans, 165;
cold war and, 152;
Du Bois joins, 168;
and “front” organizations, 140, 146;
indictment of leaders, 136, 146, 153;
leaders in, 51, 116, 132, 153;
Lincoln Brigade and, 68;
organizing in 1930s, 26;
Robeson and, 62, 83, 126, 128, 142, 150–51, 159, 160, 164–65, 168, 184, 192–93;
WWII and, 115. See also Anticommunism; Communism
Congress of the World Partisans of Peace (Paris Peace Conference), 128–30
Council on African Affairs (CAA), 19, 109, 112, 123, 137, 139;
and cold war, 140–41;
on colonial issues, 148;
coverage of Paris Peace Conference, 129, 131;
dissolution of, 155, 164, 168;
famine relief, 130;
founding of, 52;
response to Peekskill, 132, 133;
sponsor of Othello performance, 118
Daily Worker, 7, 66, 92, 123, 131, 132, 140, 144, 148, 155, 160, 163, 176, 179, 180, 183, 188
Davis, Benjamin, 5, 105, 116, 124, 144
Davis, Ossie, 6, 93–94, 192
Desdemona (Othello), 12, 15–18, 28, 29, 58, 73, 89, 163, 175, 177;
Peggy Ashcroft as, 31, 34;
Uta Hagen as, 72, 76–78, 84, 90, 99;
Mary Ure as, 170, 173, 177, 182, 184
Dignity:
during cold war repression, 10, 137, 154, 164, 177, 194;
and fight against racial oppression, 5–6, 10, 59, 64, 71, 93–94, 110–11, 117, 133–34, 158, 161, 163, 181;
and Robeson’s character, 36, 38, 80, 188;
and Robeson’s Othello interpretation, 4, 18, 29, 38–39, 41, 83, 92, 94–95, 98, 103, 119, 163, 179–80, 182;
and theater audience, 7, 106;
and Toussaint role, 64
Double Victory campaign (“Double V”), 64, 70, 116, 119, 122
Douglass, Frederick, 93, 146–47, 159
Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 179, 185, 188
Du Bois, W. E. B.:
on black culture, 56, 93, 110–11;
and CAA, 124;
and Freedom, 138;
and Ghana, 168, 191;
and Paris Peace Conference, 129–30;
passport case, 145, 185;
on Robeson, 143;
on Robeson’s Othello, 91, 189;
and Soviet Union, 51, 128;
on WWII, 116
Eisenhower, Dwight, 149, 167
Elizabethan era, 7, 12, 29, 45, 61, 73, 99
Emperor Jones, The, 5–6, 35, 50
England. See Great Britain
Entertainment Industry Emergency Committee, 3
Espionage Act, 25, 136
Ethiopia, Italian invasion of, 60, 63–66
Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC), 116
Fascism:
“Ballad for Americans” and, 112;
domestic manifestations of, 4, 131, 133;
Double Victory campaign against, 64, 70, 116, 122;
in Europe in the 1930s, 50, 52, 65, 66, 120;
WWII and, 3, 67, 75, 76, 110, 115, 122. See also Antifascism
Fast, Howard, 132, 138, 145
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 96, 112, 136, 144, 155, 158
(p.231) Ferrer, José, 76, 80–81, 84–86, 89, 95–96, 100–1, 103, 105, 126
Freedom, 57, 59, 135, 137–43, 146, 154, 160–61, 164, 168
Garvey, Marcus, 14, 62
Ghana, 148, 167–68, 180, 191
Great Britain:
and Africa, 12, 13, 148, 167, 180;
Ira Aldridge and, 20, 22;
C. L. R. James and, 150, 152;
race prejudice in, 32, 77;
Robeson and, 8, 26, 55, 137, 145, 152, 157, 164, 168, 169, 170–72, 175, 177, 179, 181, 184–86, 188, 194;
Shakespearean performance in, 11, 15, 17, 29, 34, 61, 72;
U.S. and, 125
Hagen, Uta, 72, 76, 78, 81, 84–87, 90, 99, 100, 104–5, 177
Haitian revolution, 52, 60–61, 63
Hansberry, Lorraine, 138, 184
Harlem, New York, 3, 5, 21, 36, 56, 87–88, 97, 109, 123, 131, 132, 152
Harlem Renaissance, 55, 57
Here I Stand, 9, 24, 26, 66, 101, 131, 137, 138, 142–46, 149, 151, 165, 192
“Here’s My Story,” 4, 57, 135, 138–39, 142, 146, 161
House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), 136, 158–59, 173;
Robeson’s testimony, 155, 160, 169, 180;
and Jackie Robinson, 122, 131
Hughes, Langston, 51, 97, 99, 110
Hunton, W. Alphaeus, 123, 138–40, 168, 181, 185
Hurston, Zora Neale, 109
Iago (Othello), 15–16, 33, 45, 58, 72, 73, 77, 105, 165, 174;
Maurice Browne as, 34, 36, 39, 46, 48, 77;
José Ferrer as, 76, 80–84, 89, 96, 97, 126;
Sam Wanamaker as, 173, 182–83
Independence. See Self determination
James, C. L. R.:
deportation of, 150–52;
on postcolonial Africa, 63–64;
on prejudice in London, 32;
on Robeson, 55, 62, 99;
on Shakespeare, 6, 74–75, 98–99;
and Toussaint Louverture, 6, 52, 59–65
Kean, Edmund, 12, 14–15, 17, 22, 30
Kennedy, John F., 190, 191
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 140, 141, 167, 168, 190–92
King Lear, 13, 22, 50, 170
Korean War, 136, 139, 141, 193
League of Coloured Peoples, 33, 52, 65
Lee, Canada, 3, 105
L’Ouverture, Toussaint:
C. L. R. James’s play on, 6, 10, 52, 55, 59–65, 98, 150;
Wendell Phillips’s oration on, 24
Lynching, campaigns to outlaw, 24, 93, 108, 124–26, 139, 154, 191
Macbeth, 13, 19, 20, 22, 72
March on Washington:
A. Philip Randolph’s movement, 116–17;
march in 1963, 190, 192
Mays, Benjamin, 91, 121, 122
McCarran Act, 136, 139, 140, 155
McKay, Claude, 51, 57
Method acting. See Stanislavsky, Constantin
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 21, 116, 117, 122, 130, 139;
Spingarn medal to Robeson, 121
National Negro Congress (NNC), 112, 116, 153
New Africa/Spotlight on Africa (newsletter), 109, 123, 140, 148
New Deal, 19, 51, 96, 119, 158
O’Neill, Eugene, 6, 50
Oratory, 5, 20, 23–25, 47, 58, 101
Othello (Othello):
final monologue in Robeson’s repertoire, 10, 59, 128, 137, 160, 162, 165, 188;
Robeson’s interpretation of, 7, 10, 26–33;
Tommaso Salvini as, 17;
Shakespeare (p.232) and, 7, 13–16, 41, 58, 74, 89, 91, 92, 94. See also Aldridge, Ira; Kean, Edmund
Othello:
background on, 7, 11–25;
Broadway revival of, 69–107;
London revival of, 26–49;
and Robeson’s passport case, 137, 145–52;
Stratford revival of, 167–89
Othello Recording Corporation, 143–44
Paris Peace Conference (Congress of the World Partisans of Peace), 128–30
Passport case, Robeson’s, 10, 114, 136–37, 139, 142, 145–52, 154–57, 159, 162–64, 167, 169–72, 175, 177, 180, 186, 188, 191
Patterson, Louise Thompson, 132–33
Patterson, William, 51, 132, 153, 181
Paul Robeson, Negro, 36–38
Peekskill concerts, 131–33
People’s Voice newspaper, 4, 88, 103, 104, 112, 114, 116
Popular Front, 19, 111–12
Powell, Adam Clayton, Jr., 88, 116, 123, 124, 130
Randolph, A. Philip, 116, 190
Reviews of Othello productions:
Broadway, 82–84, 87–92, 95–101;
London, 39–49;
Stratford, 177–85
Robeson, Eslanda (wife):
biography of Robeson, 34, 36–38, 101;
on Broadway Othello, 84;
and Freedom, 138;
on London Othello, 35, 48–49;
press releases by, 172, 191;
on Stratford Othello, 186
Robeson, Paul:
on African culture, 53–59;
and antifascism, 8, 52, 61, 64–67, 71, 105–6, 108–9, 121, 127, 135, 194;
and “Ballad for Americans,” 112;
and Bandung conference, 137, 140, 149;
in Broadway Othello, 69–107;
at Carnegie Hall, 26, 59, 162–63;
on colonialism, 60–61, 64, 67, 75, 128, 135, 145–46, 157, 194;
and Communist Party in U.S., 62, 83, 126, 128, 142, 150–51, 159, 160, 164–65, 168, 184, 192–93;
and dignity in Othello interpretation, 4, 18, 29, 38–39, 41, 83, 92, 94–95, 98, 103, 119, 163, 179–80, 182;
in The Emperor Jones, 5, 6, 35, 50;
and FBI, 96, 112, 136, 144, 155, 158;
in Freedom, 4, 57, 135, 138–39, 142, 146, 161;
and Great Britain, 8, 26, 55, 137, 145, 152, 157, 164, 168–72, 175, 177, 181, 184–86, 188, 194;
and Here I Stand, 9, 24, 26, 66, 101, 131, 137–38, 142–46, 149, 151, 165, 192;
HUAC testimony, 155, 160, 169, 180;
interpretation of Othello character, 7, 10, 26–33;
in London Othello, 26–49;
and oratory, 5, 20, 23–25, 47, 58, 101;
and Paris Peace Conference, 128–30;
and passport case, 137, 145–52;
in Paul Robeson, Negro, 36–38;
and Peace Arch Park concerts, 157, 160;
and Peekskill, 131–33;
repertoire during cold war, 10, 132, 137, 152–66, 189;
Jackie Robinson on, 117, 122, 131;
at Rutgers, 5, 24–26, 51, 102, 109, 117;
in Sanders of the River, 6, 33, 65, 113;
on self determination for colonies, 8, 10, 61, 67, 126, 128, 135, 145, 157, 160, 166, 181, 191, 194;
on Shakespeare, 26–33, 55;
in Show Boat, 5, 51;
on South Africa, 146;
and Soviet Union, 51, 160, 164–66;
speech at Royal Albert Hall 1937, 67;
in Stratford Othello, 167–89;
in Tales of Manhattan, 6, 113–15;
and theater segregation, 7, 10, 102, 104, 106, 127, 162;
in Toussaint Louverture, 6, 52, 59–65;
turned away at Canadian border, 155;
and Margaret Webster, 49, 71, 76, 85–86, 100–1;
and We Charge Genocide (CRC petition), 51, 153–54;
Robeson, Paul, Jr., 36–37, 143
Robeson, William D. (father), 4, 5, 23–25, 109, 135, 187
(p.233) Robinson, Jackie, 117, 122, 131
Roosevelt, Franklin D., 96, 116, 119, 120
Royal Shakespeare Company, viii, 22, 170, 178, 182
Rutgers University, 5, 24–26, 51, 102, 109, 117
Sanders of the River, 6, 33, 65, 113
Savoy Theatre (London), 33–35, 38–39, 41, 45–46, 49, 76, 176
Self determination:
African colonies and, 148–49, 167, 169, 180–81;
Bandung conference and, 149;
CAA and, 124, 137, 140;
C. L. R. James on, 63–64;
Freedom on, 138–39;
Robeson on, 8, 10, 61, 67, 126, 128, 135, 145, 157, 160, 166, 181, 191, 194;
Robeson’s passport case and, 136, 146, 148, 151–52, 169
Shakespeare, William:
and character of Othello, 7, 13–16, 41, 58, 74, 89, 91, 92, 94;
festival in Stratford for, 169–70;
and Globe Theatre, 45;
C. L. R. James on, 6, 61, 74–75, 99;
and language, 45, 57–58, 79, 99, 174;
plays in African American community, 20–25;
plays in U.S., 18–20;
Robeson on, 26–33, 55;
and writing of Othello, 11–13, 74, 77
Shakespeare Without Tears, 72–73
Show Boat, 5, 51
Shubert Theatre (New York), 3, 87
Slavery/slave trade, 4, 12–15, 20, 23–25, 30, 54, 67, 92–93, 107, 126, 128, 130, 143, 146, 187
Smith Act, 136, 153, 155
South Africa:
famine relief in, 110, 123–24, 130, 139;
in Freedom, 138–39;
Robeson on, 146;
U.N. votes and, 148
Soviet Union:
anticolonialism and, 148–49;
critique of U.S. race relations, 154, 165, 190;
peace after WWII with, 4, 8, 25, 61, 112, 122–23, 128, 129, 131, 135;
Robeson’s position on, 160, 164–66;
Robeson’s Spingarn medal speech on, 122;
Robeson’s visits to, 51, 164, 165;
role in WWII, 122
Spanish civil war, 7, 10, 53, 65. See also Abraham Lincoln Brigade
Spirituals, 5, 24, 52, 54–56, 101, 160–61, 164, 187
Spotlight on Africa/New Africa (CAA newsletter), 109, 123, 140, 148
Stanislavsky, Constantin, 17, 69, 86, 101–3
State Department (U.S.), 10, 139, 142, 145–46, 148, 150–52, 157, 162, 169, 170
Subversive Activities Control Board (SACB), 139–40
Tales of Manhattan, 6, 113–15
Theater segregation, 7, 10, 102, 104, 106, 127, 162
Theatre Guild, 77, 84, 87, 90–91, 100
Thorndike, Sybil, 32, 34, 39, 42, 45, 47, 49, 72, 176, 182
Truman, Harry, 96, 120, 122, 125, 126, 136, 160
United Nations (U.N.), 51, 119, 124, 140, 147–48, 153–54
Van Volkenburg, Ellen, 28, 33, 35–36, 43, 45–46, 48–49
Vietnam War, 141, 193
Washington, Fredi, 4
Webster, Margaret:
as an actor, 77;
background, 71–72;
as a director, 19, 72, 73, 77–78, 80, 82, 87, 89, 90, 95–96, 105;
letters to parents, 81, 84, 85, 88;
on Othello, 35, 70, 72–74, 83, 89;
and Othello cast, 84, 100;
and Robeson, 49, 71, 76, 85–86, 100–1
We Charge Genocide (CRC petition), 51, 153–54
West African Students Union, 33, 52
White, Walter, 116, 122, 125, 130
Worker, The. See Daily Worker
World War I, 24, 116, 136
World War II, 8, 10, 33, 60, 64, 67, 69, 75, 76, 106, 115, 116, 123, 128, 135
Yergan, Max, 52, 123