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Paul Robeson in Northern Africa

by Curtis Marez

In the wake of fascist Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia and his staring role as Toussaint L'ouverture in a London play written by CLR James, Paul Robeson made Jericho (1937), in which he plays a medical student named Jericho Jackson who is drafted into the US Army during WWI but deserts when he is unjustly accused of murder. Jericho escapes to the Sahara desert where he joins a group of Tuaregs, a nomadic Berber people. Here, he sings “Deep Desert,” a sort of Northern African, anti-colonial counterpoint to “Old Man River.”

Paul Robeson in Northern Africa

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A musical scene from Jericho

from Jericho (1937)
Creator: Thornton Freeland
Distributor: Cascadia Entertainment
Posted by Curtis Marez