Thursday, January 12, 2017

Paul Robeson Predicted 1960s U.S. Student Protest Movement In 1955

Five years before African-American students and Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee [SNCC] student activists began their mass-based non-violent sit-in protests in opposition to Jim Crow and segregation in the southern region of United States in 1960, U.S. protest folk singer and civil rights movement activist Paul Robeson predicted that a student protest movement in the USA would develop. In the May 1955 issue of his Freedom journal, for example, Robeson wrote:

"It is good, these days, to get out to the college campuses and see the stirring of new life among the students. The Ivy Curtain of conformity, which for a decade has shut them off from the sunlight of independent thinking, is beginning to wilt. The fresh breeze of free expression is beginning to filter into the stale atmosphere of the cold-war classrooms...

"Yes, a ferment is growing among America's students, both Negro and white. Many are beginning to see that if a concern for future jobs has dictated conformity, a concern for their very lives requires that they think for themselves..."

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