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Eslanda Robeson and Black Women's International Solidarity: A Conversation with Barbara Ransby

Eslanda Robeson was an anthropologist, 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. Eslanda: The Large and Unconventional Life of Mrs. Paul Robeson, by Barbara Ransby, changes all that.

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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. 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.

Listen in to a conversation with award-winning historian Barbara Ransby, including a visual presentation of photographic images that help tell Eslanda’s story. Ransby’s presentation is followed by a lively roundtable discussion about Eslanda’s legacy and activism today.

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Recorded Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at the Chicago Cultural Center.

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