Event: “I Go On Singing: Paul Robeson’s Life in His Words & Songs”
Date and time: Sunday, Jan. 19, 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: Umble Center
Cost: $10 for adults, $5 for students. For tickets, visit www.goshen.edu/tickets, or contact the Welcome Center at (574) 535-7566 or at email@example.com.
Musician, peace activist and 1971 Goshen College graduate Anthony Brown will kick off the college’s annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration events with a performance centered around the life of Paul Robeson on Sunday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Goshen College Umble Center.
In “I Go On Singing,” Brown brings to life the story of an all-but-forgotten American hero in a rousing 90-minute musical and theatrical performance. An All-American athlete, recording artist and star of the stage and screen, by the 1930s Robeson was the best-known African American entertainer in the world. As an early champion of civil rights, and one who traveled the world promoting peace, Robeson ultimately sacrificed his career and everything he’d accomplished by challenging the dominant culture’s status quo.
Accompanied by a pianist and narrator, Brown reveals Robeson as an American patriot and towering figure of the 20th century. Told in Robeson’s own words, using many first-hand accounts from his autobiography “Here I Stand,” the show traces his humble beginnings as a preacher’s son in Princeton to his international celebrity and tireless fight for human rights. Folk legend Pete Seeger makes three video guest appearances, discussing his friendship with Robeson and the music they shared.
“I Go On Singing” is written by playwright Andrew Flack. Musical numbers include spirituals and broadway tunes, with original arrangements of Robeson favorites like “Ol’ Man River,” “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” “Shenandoah,” “Deep River” and many others, performed by Brown.
In 2007, Brown founded the Peacing It Together Foundation to stage musical events worldwide that foster peace and social justice. He has spoken and performed in Bosnia, China, Colombia, Ethiopia, Ireland, Japan, Moldova, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Uganda, Vietnam and many other countries, particularly countries in conflict. Brown’s goal in all of his endeavors is to “be a part of creating a better day for all of humanity.”
An informal reception will take place after the performance for alumni of Goshen College and Hesston (Kan.) College. Brown graduated from both colleges and is currently a professor of sociology and artist in residence at Hesston College.
On Monday, Jan. 20, Goshen College students, faculty and community members will continue to focus on the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and explore diversity issues of the past and present during the annual MLK Day celebration events.
The community is welcomed to campus for a community breakfast on Monday, Jan. 20, which will feature a gospel choir, table discussions and guest speaker Rebecca Kubacki, Indiana state representative, who will speak on her life and how her education has made a difference in her career. Tickets are required for the community breakfast, and can be purchased online at www.goshen.edu/tickets or by contacting the Welcome Center at (574) 535-7566 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit www.goshen.edu/mlk.