Robeson, Eslanda Goode, 1896-1965

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  • 1896 Dec.15: Born to John Goode and Eslanda Cardozo Goode in Washington, D.C., the third of three children; brothers John and Frank. Maternal grandfather was Francis Lewis Cardozo, who served as South Carolina's Secretary of State and Secretary of the Treasury during Reconstruction Days.
  • 1912: Graduated from Urbana High School, Urbana, Illinois.
  • 1912 - 1916 : Attended University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois.
  • 1916 - 1920 : Attended Teachers College of Columbia University, New York City. Earned the B.S. degree in chemistry.
  • 1918 - 1925 : Analytical chemist and technician in the Surgery and Pathology Department at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, New York City.
  • 1921 Aug. 17: Married Paul Robeson in Portchester, New York.
  • 1926: Became Robeson's full-time manager, booking him for concerts, plays and film roles.
  • 1927: Gave birth to son, Paul, Jr. (Pauli).
  • 1928 - 1939 : Robeson family resided in London.
  • 1930: Publication of Paul Robeson, Negro.
  • 1933 - 1935 : Studied anthropology at University College, London.
  • 1935 - 1937 : Enrolled in London School of Economics.
  • 1936: Traveled to Southern, Central and Eastern Africa to conduct field work for degree in anthropology; accompanied by 8 year-old son, Paul, Jr.
  • 1937: Played role of cafe proprietress in film, "Big Fella," starring Paul Robeson.
  • 1938: Traveled to Spain with Paul Robeson, where he entertained members of the International Brigade in Barcelona.
  • 1939: Returned to United States, residing on Edgecombe Ave. in Harlem, New York City.
  • 1940: Robeson family moved to "The Beeches" in Enfield, CT. Enrolled at Hartford Seminary to continue studies in anthropology.
  • 1941: Founded with others the Council on African Affairs, becoming one of its most outspoken and articulate proponents of the cause for African independence; often blunt in her criticism of Western colonial powers.
  • 1945: Publication of African Journey, based on the diary she kept on her 1936 trip to Africa. Represented the Council on African Affairs at the San Francisco Conference which founded the United Nations.
  • 1946: Traveled to the Congo, Uganda and French Equatorial Africa.
  • 1948: Ran unsuccessfully for Secretary of State of Connecticut on the Progressive Party ticket.
  • 1949: Traveled to China where, during the 3-month trip, she attended the All-Asian Women's Conference in Peking, China.
  • 1950: Robesons' passports are revoked by the State Department.
  • 1958: Passports are returned by the Government. Robesons traveled to Great Britain and Soviet Union. Attended the All-African Peoples Conference in Accra, Ghana.
  • 1963: Awarded the German Peace Medal and the Clara Zetkin Medal by the East German government to women who have been distinguished by their fight for world peace. Robesons returned to the U.S.
  • 1965 Dec. 13: Died of cancer in New York City.
  • 1898 April 9: Born in Princeton, New Jersey, to William Drew Robeson and Maria Louisa Bustill; the eighth and last child.
  • 1904: Maria Robeson died tragically in a fire.
  • 1911: Graduated from the James L. Jameson School in Somerville, NJ, where the family relocated in 1910.
  • 1915 - 1918 : Won scholarship to Rutgers College in New Brunswick, NJ
  • 1918: Became Phi Beta Kappa, debating champion, valedictorian of his class. Earned varsity letters in four sports.
  • 1919: Entered Columbia Law School in New York City.
  • 1921: Married Eslanda Cardozo Goode (1896-1965), the first African-American analytical chemist at Columbia Medical Center in New York City.
  • 1923: Earned law degree from Columbia. Entered into brief law practice in the firm of Stotesbury and Miner, New York City.
  • 1924: Starred in Eugene O'Neill's plays, Emperor Jones and All God's Chillun Got Wings. Appeared in Oscar Micheaux's film, Body and Soul.
  • 1925 April 19: Performed first concert, Greenwich Village Theatre, New York City, accompanied by Lawrence Brown
  • 1926: Starred in film Black Boy.
  • 1927: Eslanda Robeson gave birth to son, Paul, Jr. (Pauli)
  • 1928: Played role of Joe in Jerome Kern's stage production, Showboat, in London.
  • 1930: Starred in Savoy stage production of Othello in London. Appeared with Eslanda in film Borderline.
  • 1932: Received Honorary Master of Arts from Rutgers University
  • 1933: Starred in New York stage production of Emperor Jones.
  • 1934: Starred in film Sanders of the River. Visited the Soviet Union.
  • 1935: Appeared in film, Showboat, made in Hollywood
  • 1936: Played leading role in London stage production, Song of Freedom.
  • 1937: Visited Spain to support and entertain the Spanish Loyalist Government. Gave concert for the International Brigade. Appeared with Lawrence Brown in film Jericho. Appeared with Eslanda Robeson in film Big Fella. Appeared in film King Solomon's Mines.
  • 1938: Traveled to Spain with Eslanda Robeson. Appeared in play, Plant in the Sun, to benefit workers' theater in London.
  • 1939 Nov. 5: Performed in world premiere of Earl Robinson's Ballad for Americans at CBS Radio Studios in New York City. Performed in film Proud Valley. Awarded Badge of Veterans of Abraham Lincoln Brigade (Spanish Civil War).
  • 1940: Received Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Hamilton College in upstate New York.
  • 1943: Received Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA.
  • 1944: Received Donaldson Award, Best Acting Performance for Othello. Awarded gold medal, National Institute of Arts and Letters.
  • 1945: Awarded the 30th Spingarn Medal of the NAACP. Received honorary degree from Howard University. Gave concert tour in Europe for USO.
  • 1949: European concert tour, including Soviet Union. Attended Paris Peace Conference. Appeared in concert at Peekskill, New York.
  • 1950: Robesons' passports revoked by the State Department. Many concerts canceled.
  • 1952: Awarded International Stalin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union government.
  • 1956 June 12: Appeared before House Committee on Un-American Activities.
  • 1958: Passport returned as a result of worldwide pressure and protest. Robesons left fof London residence; from there embarked on European concert tour. Book Here I Stand was published.
  • 1959: Performed as Othello at Stratford-on-Avon, England.
  • 1960: Last concert tour, Australia and New Zealand. Awarded the German Peace Medal, by the East German government. Received honorary degree of Doctor of Philosophy from Humboldt University, East Berlin.
  • 1961: Retired from the stage for health reasons.
  • 1963: Returned to the U.S.
  • 1965: Appeared at "Freedomways Salute to Paul Robeson," in New York City. Eslanda Goode Robeson died of cancer.
  • 1966: Took up residence with sister, Marian Forsythe, in Philadelphia, PA.
  • 1973 May 17: Received Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Rutgers University.
  • 1976 Jan. 23: Paul Robeson died. Funeral services at A.M.E. Zion Church, New York City, January 27

From the guide to the The Paul and Eslanda Robeson Collection, 1907-1988, (Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Martha Dodd Papers, 1898-1990, (bulk 1950-1990) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
creatorOf Robeson, Eslanda Goode, 1896-1965. Letter [1930] Jun. 28, London, to Maurice [Browne, London] University of Michigan
creatorOf Davis, Ossie. Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee drama collection, 1951-1981 (bulk 1970-1979). New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn West, Dorothy, 1909-. Papers, 1914-1985 (inclusive). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee drama collection, 1951-1981, 1970-1979 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
referencedIn Paul Robeson collection, 1925-1956, 1943-1956 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
referencedIn Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976. Paul Robeson Collection, 1916-1981. Rutgers University
referencedIn Alice Childress papers, 1937-1997 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
creatorOf Baldwin, Calvin Benham, 1902-1975. Papers of C.B. Baldwin, 1933-1975. University of Iowa Libraries
creatorOf Robeson, Eslanda Goode, 1896-1965. Correspondence with Marian Anderson, n.d. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
creatorOf Davis, Benjamin J. (Benjamin Jefferson), 1903-1964. Benjamin J. Davis papers, 1949-1964. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Papers of Shirley Graham Du Bois, 1865-1998 (inclusive), 1905-1975 (bulk) Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Benjamin J. Davis papers, 1949-1964 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
referencedIn Earl Browder Papers, 1879-1990 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
creatorOf Robeson, Eslanda Goode, 1896-1965. Letter [1930] Jun. 28, London, to Mr. Gosling [Southhampton, Eng.?] University of Michigan
referencedIn Moutoussamy-Ashe, Jeanne, 1951-. Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe manuscript and research collection, 1984-1985. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
creatorOf Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. Ellen Van Volkenburg-Maurice Browne general correspondence, 1911- University of Michigan
creatorOf Childress, Alice. Alice Childress papers, 1937-1997. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Erik Barnouw Papers, 1920-1990. Columbia University. Rare Book an Manuscript Library
creatorOf Robeson, Eslanda Goode, 1896-1965. Letter [1930] London, to [Ellen] Van Volkenberg[!] [London]] University of Michigan
referencedIn Adams, Edward C. L. (Edward Clarkson Leverett), 1876-1946. Edward C.L. Adams papers, 1926-1931. University of South Carolina, System Library Service, University Libraries
referencedIn Robeson, Paul, 1889-1976. Paul Robeson collection, 1925-1956, 1943-1956 (bulk). Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Lawrence Brown papers, 1916-1972 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
referencedIn Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe manuscript and research collection, 1984-1985 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
referencedIn Lorraine Hansberry papers, 1947-1988 The New York Public Library. Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division.
creatorOf Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. Ellen Van Volkenburg-Maurice Browne general correspondence, 1911- University of Michigan
referencedIn Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976. Paul Robeson Collection, 1916-1998. Rutgers University
referencedIn Dodd, Martha. Papers of Martha Dodd, 1898-1990 (bulk 1950-1990). Library of Congress
referencedIn Hansberry, Lorraine, 1930-1965. Lorraine Hansberry papers, 1947-1988. New York Public Library System, NYPL
referencedIn Brown, Lawrence, 1893-1972. Lawrence Brown papers, 1916-1972. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977. Papers, 1865-1998 (inclusive), 1905-1975 (bulk). Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America‏
referencedIn Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade Records, 1933-2006 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
creatorOf Robeson, Eslanda Goode, 1896-1965. Letter [ca. 1930] London, to [Ellen] Van Volkenberg[!] [London]] University of Michigan
creatorOf The Paul and Eslanda Robeson Collection, 1907-1988 Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University
creatorOf Cardozo, William W.,. Paul and Eslanda Robeson collection, 1907-1988. Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, Howard University
referencedIn Barnouw, Erik, 1908-2001. Erik Barnouw papers, 1920-1990. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Guide to the Daily Worker and Daily World Photographs Collection, 1920-2001 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Adams, Edward C. L. (Edward Clarkson Leverett), 1876-1946. person
associatedWith Baldwin, Calvin Benham, 1902-1975. person
associatedWith Barnouw, Erik, 1908-2001. person
associatedWith Browder, Earl, 1891-1973 person
associatedWith Browne, Maurice, 1881-1955. person
associatedWith Brown, Lawrence, 1893-1972. person
associatedWith Childress, Alice. person
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Davis, Benjamin J. (Benjamin Jefferson), 1903-1964. person
associatedWith Davis, Ossie person
associatedWith Davis, Ossie. person
associatedWith Dodd, Martha. person
associatedWith Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977. person
associatedWith Gosling. person
associatedWith Hansberry, Lorraine, 1930-1965. person
associatedWith Moutoussamy-Ashe, Jeanne, 1951- person
associatedWith Robeson, Paul, 1889-1976. person
associatedWith Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976. person
associatedWith SHIRLEY GRAHAM DU BOIS, 1896-1977 person
associatedWith Van Volkenburg, Ellen. person
associatedWith Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. corporateBody
associatedWith West, Dorothy, 1909- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Occupation
Activity

Person

Birth 1896-12-15

Death 1965-12-13

Americans

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Ark ID: w6f19mkp

SNAC ID: 58206275