Whereas, Paul Robeson, son of a runaway slave rose to prominence when segregation was legal in the United States and African-Americans were being lynched by white mobs;
Whereas, Paul Robeson's life of achievement in so many spheres made him truly one of this century's Renaissance figures and a role model for youth, and included an academic scholarship to Rutgers, football All-American, class valedictorian, Phi Beta Kappa, four varsity letters, lawyer, author, and world renowned theatrical performer and singer who was fluent in several languages and sang songs in over 50 languages all around the globe;
Whereas, as Paul Robeson's political consciousness grew with the rise of fascism in Europe, he donated proceeds from his stage performances to Jewish refugees fleeing Hitler in 1933 and he traveled to Spain the next year to support the anti-fascist forces supporting the Abraham Lincoln Brigade;
Whereas, in our country Paul Robeson spoke out strongly for labor and civil rights and was a proud honorary member of many unions including Actor's Equity, the Marine Cooks and Stewards, the National Maritime Union, the Transport Worker's Union, and AFSCME, and;
Whereas, during the height of the McCarthy hysteria Paul Robeson had his passport revoked for eight years until it was restored by the U. S. Supreme Court, because of his outspoken opposition to racism and colonialism and for fighting for the rights of working people, and;
Whereas, the persecution which Paul Robeson suffered during the McCarthy Era represents the types of actions the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were designed to prevent; Paul Robeson was denied this protection and sacrificed his fame and fortune and endured great personal hardship for his steadfast principles;
Now, therefore be it resolved that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh hereby joins with thousands of other individuals and groups, including the Congressional Black Caucus, in petitioning the U.S. Postal Service Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee to designate a Centennial Stamp in 1998 in honor of the life time achievements of Paul Robeson; and
Be it further resolved, that the Council of the City of Pittsburgh, hereby supports the organizing efforts of the Paul Robeson Centennial Celebration and encourages educational and cultural activities furthering the recognition of the Paul Robeson Centennial in 1998.