An Analysis Of Paul Robeson 's ' The Power Of Negro Action '

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This paper shall proceed as follows; I will begin exploring first the essay by Paul Robeson and highlighting some of the most striking and interesting facets, followed by the chapter from Rhonda Williams where I will explore the connections to the chapter by Robeson, and lastly I will look at the essay from Andrea Friedman, where I will further note interesting facets of the reading as well as create ties to the aforementioned works. Paul Robeson’s chapter “The Power of Negro Action” is rather straightforward from the outset. Robeson is presenting an empowering piece, which has several subsections relating to the central theme of collectivized action on the behalf of black people. One of the more interesting aspects of this chapter comes from the way in which Robeson calls for black people to use their agency to better their position. From the outset Robeson states, “I say that Negro action can be decisive. I say that we ourselves have the power to end terror and to win for ourselves peace and security throughout the land” (Robeson, 90). The interesting aspect of this quote is the fact that the paragraph proceeding it establishes the historical precedent of blacks not necessarily enacting the full degree of their agency. However, Robeson’s call proclaiming the power of black agency contrasts this and shows a progression toward the growing sentiments of blacks having more power than dominant society would like to portray. Robeson exclaims that the power that

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