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Robeson struggled to portray strong and complex images on stage of the Black experience beyond those of the servant or fool. He fought throughout his life to find a way to fuse his artistic talents and his political beliefs. He saw his talents as a way to support the struggles of oppressed people around the world.
In America Robeson was realising that many of the roles he played were seen in the Black press as a stereotypical portrayal of the Black man.
Robeson said:
"It didn't go to the lengths it might have done. The Negro couldn't say in it all that he really lived and felt. Why, the white people in the audience would never stand for it."
After a series of scripts that continued to typecast Robeson he finally turned down a West End play in 1938 to join the Unity Theatre in London. He starred in the strike play Plant in the Sun by Ben Bengal.
Unity's members had converted an old chapel in north-west London in order to stage plays about social or political issues. This was against a background of the Depression, unemployment and hunger marches, the Republican struggle in Spain and the rise of the fascist Blackshirts of Mosley in Britain during the 1930s.

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