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Photo: Paul Robeson Cultural Center, Rutgers University

The Forest Park Public Library houses a small archive celebrating and exploring the life of Paul Robeson, the Black artist, performer, activist, lawyer, and football player.

Robeson was born in 1898 and lived a fascinating life both here in America, and abroad.  During his life, he became a football star at Rutgers University, attended law school at Columbia University in the 1920s, became a player in the Harlem Renaissance scene, starred in the classic film Showboat, and was blacklisted during the McCarthy era.

The Robeson collection, which includes artwork of Paul Robeson, educational materials, posters, music, artwork, and papers, was assembled by Forest Park resident Mark Rogovin who passed away in 2019. Rogovin was motivated in building this collection, in part, to support a successful campaign to garner a postage stamp to celebrate Robeson’s 100th birthday in 1998.

Click here to access the finding aid for the collection

If you are interested in seeing a part of the collection, please email

More Resources
FPPL Paul Robeson Archive Announcement
New York Public Library Paul Robeson Archive
National Archives: Paul Robeson 
Rutgers University Paul Robeson Collection

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