About The Show
Welcome to the official website of “The World is my Home – The Life of Paul Robeson” written & performed by Stogie Kenyatta.
This is the number 1 touring One Man Show in the United States, the Caribbean & Central America. This is the most requested Multi- Cultural Educational show on the American & Caribbean Educational Circuit & the favorite on the topics of Diversity, Compassion, African pride, Social Justice & the music of the Harlem Renaissance. This entertaining, laugh out loud, music filled show with audience participation, covering his friendships with Albert Einstein, Dubois, Langston Hughes, Cab Calloway, Jomo Kenyatta, Kwame Nkrumah & many others who contributed to the cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance.
The play is a tribute to the legacy of a tortured genius who was so ahead of his time, he lived several lives filled with triumph and tragedy. Graduating top of his class & Valedictorian in 1919 from Rutgers Univ. he got a Law Degree from Columbia University & passed the NY State Bar in 1922 & became the first Negro lawyer hired by a NY Law firm. Paul Robeson was the son of a preacher who transcended race and dreamed for a colorblind society. He spoke out against the Holocaust, visited Warsaw ghetto in Poland & co-founded the OAU (Organization for African Unity) with W.E.B. Dubois & pushed for the liberation of Africa.
Stogie Kenyatta brings a unique interpretation to the stage, where he majestically captures the essence of Robeson. Portraying 14 characters he chronologically takes us thru the life of History’s 1st Black Renaissance man & one of America’s most complex & brilliant citizens.
Magnificently performed with props, several wardrobe changes, an inspiring finger-snapping Jazz, Bebop, Gospel, Big Band soundtrack. The play opens as Robeson’s father, a 15 year old runaway slave, escapes on the Underground Railroad to Philadelphia. As laugh out loud funny & entertaining as it is educational, Kenyatta ages from a 5 year old to the 70 yr old, world weary warrior that the blacklisted Robeson had become. The show covers the Harlem Renaissance, with music from Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, Louie Armstrong, Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, Harry Belafonte & Robeson himself.
The wardrobe from slave outfits to Othello’s royal robe was meticulously designed by West Coast Designer Tuesday Conner. Kenyatta uses his stand up comedy skills, satire, singing & brilliant storytelling to introduce us to the scholar, actor, singer, athlete, activist that was Robeson. Kenyatta’s portrayal reveals the sense of humor, charm, wit, romantic passion, & human frailties of a life filled with triumphant achievement & the tragedy of hopes unfulfilled.
Critics wrote “ In the final scene, Robeson’s spine-tingling account of the horrors of captivity & the Middle-Passage; where sick women & children slaves were tossed into the sea, is so electrifyingly powerful, it gives you Goosebumps. It’s the perfect ending to a riveting evening of theatre.”
Paul Robeson’s life exemplified all the qualities that our society holds dear & all the courage & compassion that make America great. This son of a preacher man’s life, transcended race & nationality. His dream for a colorblind society, shaped his belief that, if we accept the fatherhood of God; we must accept the brotherhood of man. He spoke out against the Holocaust, visited the Warsaw ghettos in Poland & recorded anti-Nazi songs in Yiddish. Before he was blacklisted by the H.U.A.C. hearings, he received numerous awards & a mountain in Moscow was named in his honor.
This show; like Robeson’s life; serves as a Cultural Ambassador a classy, cultural artistic centerpiece that complements many social agendas. Our objective is that the show will inspire an appreciation for diversity & propel its audience to greater achievement & guide them to a more Nobel life.
The goal of the play is to awaken, enlighten & uplift a new generation of citizens & students so that the lost brilliance of Robeson doesn’t remain lost. To let all people know; that the best of Paul Robeson lives in all of us & with it the power to change the World.”
My objective is to use Theater as a vehicle for social change; with this entertaining, romanticized, history lesson along with great storytelling, music, comedy & heartfelt emotion of America’s amazing, yet painful history; to advance our culture & uplift a darkened humanity.
Studies show multi cultural education increases social responsibility, cultural diversity, tolerance & student involvement. Multicultural education is even more important because today’s students are living in the most ethnically, socially & culturally diverse educational environments in history.
The most popular music, arts, literature, clothing, sports, TV, Film or social media, around the world is American. Descendants of enslaved Africans have invented every form of music on the planet earth with the exception of Opera & Classical. On almost every Continent; we are the dominant culture. Not because of bombs & bullets, but Arts & Culture.
There was a time in world’s history when every couple decade’s world leaders would get together & have a World War & say “let’s kill our brothers”. The 2 largest military conflicts in human history were WW1 & WW2. Over 90 Million people died over 62 Million of those were civilians. At the end of WW2, a world weary of war, bloodshed, misery & suffering now needed entertainment & there was nowhere to turn, except that village in Harlem New York and that cultural movement known as the Harlem Renaissance. Where all the singers, dancers, musicians, poets & social intellectuals like James Baldwin, Dubois, Josephine Baker, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Sarah Vaughn & the great Satchmo, Louie Armstrong flooded the stages, nightclubs & Cabarets of London, Paris, Milan & Switzerland. These descendants of rebellious Africans; who influenced & created every form of music on the planet; except Opera & Classical. America’s unwanted stepchild, America’s shame, those enslaved Africans that she told the world were culturally & intellectually inferior, that she once sold in chains & locked in cages, now shined like stars when they stepped on stages. Sharing their artistry, passion & brilliance, showing the world our common humanity & thereby creating a new Black identity. Only then did a chance for a lasting peace exist. So Negroes despised in the own land, found the fame & fortune denied them in America.
Paul Robeson said “Nations may go to war; but it’s always Arts & Culture that unites us”. I believe that Arts is one of the gatekeepers of history & protectors of the truth. It is my humble intention to use Art as a vehicle for social change to advance our culture to one where futures aren’t built on the misfortune of others and dreams not realized on the shattered dreams of others. This is an earth school, we can be taught to love as we were taught to hate. We’re more than personality, we are spirit & we all have a sacred contract to fulfill. It’s not a literal document, it’s a spiritual one that our souls recognize, it a love you can’t stop.
Today’s advances in technology allows us to operate a Drone from any office downtown USA and kill masses of humanity thousands of miles away. We need to educate a new generation of students that know instinctively that “Just because they can; doesn’t mean they should”. This is the goal of my show & multicultural arts education. I look forward to working with you.
Why I Do Robeson Show
“It is a validation of my passion, talent, writing, persistence a show with a message of peace fulfilling my desire of using Art to help save the soul of humanity. It is with an open humble heart my soul mate Meechi & I begin our 15th year of touring this passion piece. I am taking time to reflect on how lucky I am to be able to do this for a living & to fully embrace the journey. All of it in its entirety, the financial challenges of living the freelance lifestyle of an artist, and my own fear that in an industry that often rewards mediocrity; that my next bow will be my last. This is more than just a show for me; it’s a prayer for the forsaken & forgotten. A story of heart & hope, of broken promises & broken dreams, a love song for the brave & broken-hearted, who found enough forgiveness in their tortured souls to live, laugh & love. For my two children, my royal boy Kahaari Shakoor & my angel baby Tunisia Aminah, to remind them that this life is a short journey & broken dreams hurt more than broken bones, to find your passion & contribute a verse.
For my ancestors, descendants of those stolen/lost/found tribal travelers; who like me, late on their bills & late on their dreams, that their silent prayers don’t remain unanswered. I do it to inspire, educate & entertain; and to remind us while we’re sharing this brief moment on the Third Rock from the sun; to embrace our common humanity with kindness.
To all those that have booked the show around the world & all the fans, friends old & new that I met along the way and came out to the shows, you have now become part of my journey and for that I thank you.”
A VERY SPECIAL THANK YOU TO:
SANTA MONICA PLAYHOUSE for being our Resident West Coast home. Evelyn Rudie, Chris DeCarlo, Sandra Zeitzew and the wonderful staff.
ACADEMY THEATER in Atlanta, – Lorenne Fey & Robert Drake & Staff.
BERKELEY BLACK REP. in Berkeley, California – Dr. Mona Scott.
BLACK SPECTRUM THEATER – Carl Clay of the in Queens, N.Y.
For your decades of tireless dedication to live theater & being my resident homes in the North, South, East & West & supporting my show when the applause wasn’t so loud & the lights didn’t shine so bright.
Colleges & Universities Shows
Alabama A & M – 2 shows
Austin Peay Univ.
Baltimore City College
Bethel Univ – Tenn.
Bethune Cookman 3 Shows
Bristol Comm. College
Cal State East Bay
Cal State Northridge
Cal State L.A.
Cerritos College- 3 shows
Christian Brothers Univ
Clara Mohammed Schools 3 shows
Clarke Atlanta U
Cleveland H.S. The Village Nation
Delaware State U
EL Camino Real – Village Nation 3 shows
Florida A & M
Florida Gulf Coast Univ. 2 shows
Florida Institute of Technology
Florida Memorial U – 5 shows
Florida State College Jacksonville
Hawaii-Kona – 5 shows
Houston Comm College 2 shows
Howard Univ. – 2 shows
Jackson State U
Johns Hopkins U
Kansas City Comm. College 2 Shows
Lemoyne Owens College
Lincoln Univ. Missouri
Loyola Marymount U
Maryland Eastern Shore – 3 shows
Miami Dade College
New Orleans Conservatory of Arts
North Carolina State
Paul Robeson Freedom School – Bklyn, NY – 3 shows
Paul Robeson HS- Bklyn, NY
Paul Robeson Malcolm X Academy – Detroit 2 shows
Paul Robeson PRAISE Academy- Baltimore
Penn State Univ Dubois
Sacramento State U
San Francisco State
San Diego State
Santa Monica College- 2 shows
Seton Hall Univ.
St Augustine College
St Thomas University
Steven F. Austin St. Univ
Tennessee State U – 2 Shows
Texas A & M
UCLA – 3 shows
U of Alabama-Tuscaloosa
U of Arkansas – Fayetteville – 2 Shows
Univ of Birmingham, England
U of Central Florida
U of Illinois- Champagne
Univ of London – 2 shows
Univ of Maine
U of N. Carolina
U of N. C. Central
U of Memphis
U of Minnesota
U of New England
U of Penn – E. Stroudsberg
U of Penn – Edinboro
U of Penn – Indiana
U of Penn – Millersville
U of Redlands – 2 shows
U of S. Florida-St. Petersburg
U of San Francisco
U of Santa Cruz
University of S. Utah – 2 shows
U.S.C – 2 shows
U of Virgin Islands –St. Thomas – 2 shows
Univ of Virgin Islands – St. Croix
Univ of Washington – Seattle
U of West Florida
U of West Indies- Barbados -3 shows
US Embassy – Cave Hills, Barbados
US Embassy – Nassau, Bahamas
Virgin Is DOE-St Croix – St. Thomas-8 shows
Washington State U
Westchester Univ. – 2 SHOWS
West LA College
Willowbrook Middle Benefit
YALE Univ. 2 SHOWS
Theater Festivals, Corporate & Museums:
Shakespeare in Paradise Islnd -3 shows-Bahamas
Valley of the Sun-Juneteenth Show-Phoenix, Arizona
Kennedy Amphitheater- Tucson, Arizona
Paul Robeson Theater – Bklyn, NY – 13 shows
Eventide Arts Festival ( Cape Cod) – 3 shows
S. Embassy – Cave Hill, Barbados
Hollywood NAACP Solo Festival
Miami Theater Festival. – 3 shows
Museum of NYC – 4 shows
National Civil Rights Museum-Memphis, Tenn.
Center for Disease Control – BHM Event Atlanta
Watts Labor Action Committee. L A. Calif.
Hudson Theater – Los Angeles – 3 Shows
Afr. Am. Museum- 2 shows LA, CA
Lucy Florence Cultural Center 3 shows
Multi-Media Arts Cntr-Bloomfield, NJ – 2 shows
Los Angeles Theater Center – Dark Blue Mondays
Santa Monica Playhouse – 57 show Residency
Underground RR Museum – Belmont Mansion. PA
Fuller Craft Museum – Brockton, Mass. 2 shows
Am Museum of Nassau Cnty – L.I. – 3 shows
Fort Greene Senior Council – Jazz 966
Nat Black Education Agenda-Chicago 2 shows
The Dred Scott Heritage Fndtn – St. Louis
Academy Theater – Atlanta – 5 Shows
Pittsburgh Comm. Empowerment Ass. 2 shows
Tampa Bay Black Heritage Festival
Berkeley Black Repertory – Berkeley Calif. 3 shows
T Systems Corporate – Columbus, GA
Academy Playhouse – Atl, GA – 15 Shows
Martha’s Vineyard Oak Bluffs – 3 Shows
Dora Nelson Museum – Perris, California
Las Vegas Library – Clark County – 2 Shows
Naples Library Series – Naples Florida
Black Spectrum Theater – NY 2 Shows
Roosevelt Public Library – L.I. NY
Black Wall Street Benefit – Tulsa, OK
Black Educational Agenda – Chicago -2 Shows
Camden African American. Cult. Cntr – N.J.
Buffalo Soldiers -AIM Theater Grp Lvenwrth, KS
Charities & Churches:
Jamaican Cultural Alliance Benefit – S.M. Plyhse
LIFE C.O.G.I.C.- Riverside, Calif.
Conscious Blck Men- W.Angeles Church – L. A.
Marks Episcopal – Bklyn, NY – 2 shows
Omega Phi Psi Holiday Benefit – Hampton, VA
Parents as Partners Educational Benefit -Los Angeles
Calgary Baptist Church- Salt Lake City, Utah
2nd Baptist Church- Ogden, Utah
Indaba Theater Co. – Messiah Baptist – Mass.
Brown vs Brd of Education – Topeka, Kansas
Friends of Yates – Kansas City
Richard Allen Theatre Grp – Pasadena
True Vine Baptist Church – Inglewood CA
Pacific Oasis Center – L.A.
Long Island Benefit Patrick Payn
LA Black Resource Center
Alkebu Lan Cultural Center – Pasadena, CA