an artist I come to sing, but as a citizen, I will always speak for peace, and
no one can silence me in this."
learned that my people are not the only ones oppressed.. . . I have sung my songs
all over the world and everywhere found that some common bond makes the people
of all lands take to Negro songs as their own."
feel closer to my country than ever. There is no longer a feeling of lonesome
isolation. Instead--peace. I return without fearing prejudice that once bothered
me . . . for I know that people practice cruel bigotry in their ignorance, not
artist, every scientist, must decide now where he stands. He has no alternative.
There is no standing above the conflict on Olympian heights. There are no impartial
observers. Through the destruction, in certain countries, of the greatest of man's
literary heritage, through the propagation of false ideas of racial and national
superiority, the artist, the scientist, the writer is challenged. The struggle
invades the formerly cloistered halls of our universities and other seats of learning.
The battlefront is everywhere. There is no sheltered rear." And I saw, too, that
the struggle for Negro rights was an inseparable part of the anti-fascist struggle
and I said: "The artist must elect to fight for Freedom or for Slavery. I have
made my choice. I had no alternative."
is not just to show life as it is, but to show life as it should be”