78 E. Washington Street
Illinois Humanities Council
Eslanda Robeson lived a large and colorful life. She was a woman of unusual accomplishment—an anthropologist, a prolific journalist, a tireless advocate of women's rights, an outspoken anti-colonial and anti-racist activist, and an internationally sought-after speaker. Yet historians for the most part have confined Essie to the role of Mrs. Paul Robeson, a wife hidden in the large shadow cast by her famous husband. This book, Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson, by Barbara Ransby changes all that. Essie Robeson’s story is told for the first time in all of its complexity and in the context of the dynamic historical times in which she lived.