FAMOUS ACTIVISTS: PAUL ROBESON & RICHARD WRIGHT PAUL ROBESON: One of the most talented performers of his time & a dedicated humanitarian who ultimately sacrificed fame and fortune for what he believed in. RICHARD WRIGHT: A major influence on world literature & politics, who brought the Black Experience to the forefront of social discourse. PAUL ROBESON was a celebrated African-American Actor, Athlete, Singer, Writer, and Civil Rights Activist. Robeson's many achievements are chronicled in this program, ranging from playing with the NFL to graduating from Columbia Law School, performing on Broadway and in Hollywood films to founding the American Crusade against Lynching as well as Council on African Affairs. Robeson was one of the most talented performers of his time and a dedicated humanitarian who ultimately sacrificed fame and fortune for what he believed in. His association with Leftist Politics during the era of the Cold War, and frequent denouncing of American political parties led to his eventual blacklisting with other prominent writers and artists during the McCarthy Era. His talents in all areas are remarkable, and his dedication to attaining a peaceful coexistence between all the people of the world is truly admirable. RICHARD WRIGHT was an African-American author of novels, short stories and non-fiction that dealt with powerful themes and controversial topics. Much of his works concerned racial themes that helped redefine discussions of race relations in America in the mid-20th century. Born on a plantation in Mississippi, Wright was a descendent of the first slaves who arrived in Jamestown Massachusetts. This program follows his arduous path from sharecropper to literary giant. Through authors like H.L. Menken, Sinclair Lewis, Theodore Dreiser, he discovered that literature could be used as a catalyst for social change. In 1937 Wright moved to New York and his work began to garner national attention for it's political and social commentary. Much of Wright's writing focused on the African American community and experience; his novel Native Son won him a Guggenheim Fellowship and was adapted to the Broadway stage with Orson Welles directing in 1941. In 1946, Wright was fed up with America's treatment of it's black citizen and became an expatriate in Paris, France where he joined a circle that included famous Existentialists Jean-Paul Sarte and Albert Camus. Though he quit his formal education at only 15 years old, Richard Wright was a major influence on world literature & politics, and brought the black experience to the forefront of social discourse. Bonus Material: Each program includes 24 minutes of Bonus material.