By Barbara Fluhrer
“Paul Robeson continues to be largely ignored in American test books and history,” says baritone Autris Paige.
“He was an athlete, held a law degree, acted in Shakespearean and Broadway plays and movies. He was an outspoken activist for civil rights. He petitioned the president of the United States for an anti-lynching law, helped victims of the Spanish Civil War and endured banned performances, racism and discrimination throughout his career,” says Paige.
“(Robeson) was one of the great bass baritones of all time. His singing career spanned the globe and he used it to speak out for independence, freedom and equality for all people.”
Paige has returned to his home in the Bay Area after an auspicious singing career. Though he continues to do concerts, Paige has devoted his recent years to researching the Spirituals from Africa to the present and more recently the life of Paul Robeson.
Paige will perform his latest work, “The Life of Paul Robeson,” reading Robeson’s life story and performing some of his songs on Saturday, Feb. 21 at 1 p.m. at the South Berkeley Branch Library at 1901 Russell St.
Paige debuted this work at the Yachats Music Festival in Yachats, Oregon last year, where he received a standing ovation from other artists from around the world.