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Paul Robeson returns to 45th and Chestnut

Posted on 13 December 2011

muralPaul Robeson, the famed stage and screen actor who spent his later years in West Philly, is back at the corner of 45th and Chestnut keeping a keen eye on eastbound motorists.

Artist Ernel Martinez recently finished a mural of Robeson on the side of an apartment building across Chestnut Street from West Philadelphia Catholic High School that replaced an older mural of Robeson removed this summer.

The new mural is very similar to the original – a full-body portrait of an elegant Robeson in a black suit and tie.

Robeson, who was also an All-American athlete and the son of a former slave, lived in his sister’s row home at 4949 Walnut St. from 1968 to his death in 1976.

The Robeson mural is part of the African American Iconic Images collection, which also includes portraits of Jackie Robinson, Women of Jazz and Malcolm X, among others, and historical scenes of African American life and community.

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