Posted by | Ray Cornelius
The life of the mighty Paul Robeson is coming to the silver screen thanks to award-winning director, Steve McQueen. The British filmmaker recently announced the new project and indicated that he will receive a little help from entertainment legend, Harry Belafonte.
Best known for his powerful baritone vocals behind the legendary song, “Ol Man River,” Robeson was by many accounts, the definition of a true Renaissance man. He was a talented vocalist, athlete, actor and key figure in the Civil Rights Movement. Like so many African-American entertainers of that era, Robeson spoke out against racism in U.S. so much so that his controversial views on Communism led him to being blackballed by Hollywood in the 1950’s. Robeson died on January 23, 1976 at the age of 77.
“His life and legacy was the film I wanted to make the second after ‘Hunger.’ But I didn’t have the power, I didn’t have the juice,” McQueen said (via The Guardian). And he credits a neighbor for passing him an article and putting Robeson on his radar when he was a teenager.
McQueen won an Oscar for Best Picture earlier this year for his 2013 epic film “12 Years a Slave.”
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