ParkTales on Paul Robeson


Remembering Paul Robeson during Black History Month

In 1998 City of Toronto declared April 9 Paul Robeson Day

By Frances Sedgwick
True North Perspective
Frances Sedgwick's keen eye and ear for the human condition reveals the heart and soul of Parkdale in southwest Toronto, one of the country's most turbulent urban areas where the best traditions of human kindness prevail against powerful forces that would grind them down. True North Perspective proudly presents a column by writer Frances Sedgwick. Her critical observation combined with a tender sense of humour will provide you with something to think about ... and something to talk about.

15 February 2013 — I would like to dedicate ParkTales this week to the memory of  Paul Robeson in the hope that it will rekindle memories for those who knew of Paul Robeson and educate others who have not had knowledge of him.  

My husband, Paul Pauk, started The Paul Robeson Commemorative Committee in Toronto in 1995.  Husband Paul wanted to ensure that Paul Robeson would not be forgotten in Canada.

  Paul Pauk with Frances Sedgwick and friends.
  Paul Pauk with Frances Sedgwick and the ever friendly staff at the O'Neil Centre Long Term Care and Retirement Home.


The Commemorative Committee was successful. On the 100 Anniversary of Paul Robeson's birth in 1998, the City of Toronto declared April 9 Paul Robeson Day. Through the years the Committee organized many events to keep alive the achievements of this great humanitarian.

Meanwhile, at Toronto’s Roy Thompson Hall, the entire R row was dedicated to Robeson.

The City of Toronto featured Paul Robeson more recently on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Click here for Paul Robeson, Renaissance Man and here for a column by Toronto Star writer Royson James on Paul Robeson and anti-racism day.

Paul Pauk was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the O'Neil Centre, where he now resides. By clicking here you'll see him surrounded by beautiful, happy young women in party dress, and the story that goes with it. I'm there too by the way.

My Parkdale