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Life of Paul Robeson Featured in Show at USF St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (February 8, 2012) – Actor/writer/comedian Stogie Kenyatta will perform “The World is My Home, The Life of Paul Robeson” at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) on Tuesday, February 14 starting at 6:00pm.

This engaging one-man show is part of Kenyatta’s personal quest to introduce young people to Paul Robeson. The legendary Robeson gained wide fame in the 20th century as a concert singer and recording artist, stage and film actor, athlete, scholar and civil rights activist.

Kenyatta wrote the show to honor Robeson, who spent his life striving to unite people through his widely acknowledged and diverse talents. At Rutgers University, Robeson was not only valedictorian of his class, but also an All-American football player. Additionally, he played professional football while attending Columbia Law School.

During World War II, Robeson said that “nations go to war” but “arts and culture unite us.” In 1930, Robeson was the first black actor to portray Shakespeare’s Othello in an all-white cast. His rendition of “Ol’ Man River” in the musical Show Boat remains the standard for the performance of that song.

Known as a “world citizen,” Robeson consistently fought for civil rights in the U.S., spoke out against the Holocaust, visited Warsaw ghettos in Poland, and co-founded the Organization of African Unity with W.E.B. Dubois. The consummate 20th century Renaissance man, Robeson died at 77 in 1976.

Kenyatta’s portrayal of Robeson has been the top solo multiculturalism show on the American Educational Speaker Circuit and an audience favorite in dealing with the topics of tolerance, diversity and social justice – all hallmarks of Robeson’s life.

Classically trained, Kenyatta attended the University of California and also studied at the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Henry Street Settlement and the Al Fann Theatrical Ensemble. Jamaican born and Brooklyn raised, Kenyatta has an extensive background in performance with over 30 television credits as well as many appearances as a stand up comedian.

His current Los Angeles-based show about Paul Robeson has been performed at hundreds of locations around the world, including U.S Embassies, universities, museums and festivals.

The USF St. Petersburg presentation is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs as part of the university’s annual celebration of Black History Month. It is free and open to the public at USFSP’s Harbor Hall (the former Dali Museum building), located at 1000 3rd Street S. in St. Petersburg.

For additional information, contact Tabitha Raj at 727-873-4845 or traj@usfsp.edu.

Three Jan. Events Focus on Civil Rights from Darfur to St. Pete

(St. Petersburg, Fla.) January 12, 2010 – Three upcoming events at USF St. Petersburg will explore civil and human rights – from a discussion on the publications of the St. Petersburg-based Uhuru movement leader to a lecture on the status of human rights in Darfur. All events are free and open to the public.

January 21
6 p.m.
An Evening with Omali Yeshitela
Student Life Center (corner of 6th Ave. S and 2nd St.)
Contact: James Schnur, USFSP Librarian, (727) 873-4094

The Nelson Poynter Memorial Library at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg hosts an evening of conversation with Uhuru Movement leader Omali Yeshitela to herald the recent acquisition of approximately 20 of Yeshitela’s publications as part of the library’s Special Collections and Archives.

Special Collections Librarian James Schnur will conduct an interview with Yeshitela that traces notable events in his life and work. Schnur will present a display of the collection, which includes recent publications as well as historic and out-of-print writings by the prolific political theorist. He will then take the stage with Yeshitela to share video clips and interview the controversial St. Petersburg native who has achieved international recognition.

January 26
7 p.m.
Darryl Van Leer presents “Fulfilling the Dream: From MLK to Barack Obama”
Student Life Center (corner of 6th Ave. S and 2nd St.)
Contact: La-Tarri Canty (727) 873-4845

This one-man show provides an in-depth look at the dreams and hopes of the society that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned. His vision is then compared to today’s progress of racial equality through the election of the first African-American president. This performance includes dramatizations of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” and “I See the Promise Land” speeches. The audience also relives the electrifying event at Grant Park with Barack Obama’s election night address, “The Change We Need.”

This event is sponsored by the City of St. Petersburg and the Office of Multicultural Affairs at USFSP.

January 28
2 p.m.
Genocide in Darfur: Taking a Stand for Justice with Professor Hamid E. Ali
Davis Hall, Room 104
Contact: Thomas Smith (727) 873-4583

Hamid E. Ali was born and raised in the Darfur region of Sudan. He is Assistant Professor of Public Policy at the American University in Cairo. He holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. Ali is chairman of the Darfur Working Group and is heavily involved in the reconciliation efforts in Darfur. As a scholar and an advocate he helps students to become more engaged with human rights issues around the world.

This lecture is sponsored by the Honors Program at USFSP.

-USF St. Petersburg-