Winner 1998

I Must Keep Fightin’: The Art of Paul Robeson

National Public Radio

I Must Keep Fightin’: The Art of Paul Robeson tells the story of the legendary athlete, actor, singer and international civil rights activist, who rose to greatness against the odds during the segregationist era. Robeson’s status as an advocate for civil rights and as a supporter of the Soviet Union eventually cost him his career. He did not hesitate to speak his mind. Late in the 1940s, when taking a dissenting stand was ill-advised, he openly challenged the idea that African-Americans should serve in the military of a country that sanctioned racism. Around that time—at the height of his popularity—he was blacklisted and his passport was revoked, which caused great personal and professional hardship. In the course of a stirring hour of radio, executive producer and editor Andy Trudeau and producer, director and writer Elizabeth Blair recount the life of this accomplished historical figure, who shattered stereotypes and broke down barriers for African-Americans. Narrated by the distinguished soprano Barbara Hendricks, this program not only entertains, but also humanizes a man often misunderstood or else forgotten. For its excellent storytelling about one of the most controversial and significant figures of the 20th century, a Peabody to NPR for I Must Keep Fightin’: The Art of Paul Robeson.