Paul Robeson Jr. has just written a new memoir called The Undiscovered Paul Robeson, the first of a two part series on his father, the famed actor, singer and athlete. He talks about his fathers rise in show business and what it was like growing up as the son of an icon. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Actor AVERY BROOKS. He reached stardom with his TV portrayal of "Hawk," the strong, almost silent partner in the detective series "Spenser for Hire." He took that character into its own series last season. Brooks brings to his TV work the same concern for African-American culture that has marked his stage career and his life. He won acclaim for his reinterpretation of the Harriet Beecher-Stowe character "Uncle Tom" in a production on the Showtime cable channel, and for his stage portrayal of Paul Robeson.
Martin Bauml Duberman was personally selected by Robeson's son to write about the legendary African American actor and activist. Duberman says he brought to bear own experiences in the theater and as a gay man while working on the book. He joins Fresh Air to discuss his research, as well Robeson's political activity and the effect government surveillance had on his mental health.
Martin Duberman's new book delves deep into the complicated political and artistic life of the African American actor and activist. Book critic John Leonard admires how exhaustive the biography is, and how it never shies away from difficult topics like Robeson's womanizing and depression.