Note: This is the seventh installment of WCBS 880’s Black History Month series. For other articles, click here.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Eslanda Robeson — the wife of singer, actor, lawyer and civil rights crusader Paul Robeson — steps out of her husband’s shadow in a biography titled “Eslanda” by Barbara Ransby.

“Essie,” as she was known, was a cultured graduate of Columbia University, scholar, activist, United Nations correspondent, vocal Pan-Africanist and socialist who shared her husband’s world view, WCBS 880’s Jane Tillman Irving reported.

And although she would reject the term, Eslanda Robeson was a feminist mother who lived in an open marriage for most of its 40 years. She died in 1965, two days shy of her 70th birthday.

From the Harlem renaissance of the 1920s through McCarthy-era government persecution to the 1960s, “Eslanda” is a story about love and a political partnership.

It is published by Yale University Press.


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