Paul Robeson rose from humble circumstances to become a Phi Beta Kappa honoree and college football star. Discouraged by the limited opportunities for black lawyers in the United States, he gave up a law career to become a professional actor and singer. His rich bass-baritone voice, personal charisma, and exceptional acting abilities soon made him one of the most acclaimed performers of his era. During the 1930s, Robeson also became known for his commitment to a variety of social causes. Robeson's outspoken admiration for the Soviet Union, however, turned him into a pariah in the United States. Despite being one of the great cultural figures of the 20th century, he was vilified and ignored by mainstream American culture and succeeding interpretations of African-American history. Today, however, he is celebrated as one of America's greatest performing artists and as a forerunner of the civil rights movement. Paul Robeson introduces this actor and singer who became a controversial figure for his Communist sympathies during the Red Scare era.