1958 saw the publication of Paul Robeson’s book, Here I Stand, written with the collaboration of Lloyd L. Brown. With the book, Robeson set out to chronicle and reflect not only on his own life, but on the perennial problem of race in the US, and the ways in which racism often expressed itself in the most hateful, venomous and violent of forms. Robeson was an implacable opponent of racism and within Here I Stand did not hesitate to put the country of his birth in the dock, accusing it of complicity in the perpetuating of racism. Robeson was no stranger to the pen, having written a number of articles and speeches. Here I Stand was however, his only book. Offering itself as a manifesto of social change as much as a reflection on his own life thus far, Here I Stand was an international hit. 1958 saw the release of local editions of the book in cities such as London. It went on to be published in languages other than English, such as Japanese.
This particular version was published in Hungary as Itt állok, meaning I'm standing here – a translation of Here I Stand. The book had been translated into Hungarian by Gömöri Endre and published by Európa Könyvkiadó, Budapest. This was the only version of the book to be extensively illustrated, with photograph-based images of Robeson’s life, and images that documented the brutality of racism in the US, from images of enslavement through to then-current manifestations of Jim Crow segregation, lynchings, and so on. Fascinatingly, Itt állok, also contained 16 reproductions of drawings by Charles White, many of which, by the time Itt állok was published, had already become widely reproduced and celebrated renderings of African Americans that reflected their hopes, fortitude, dignity and yearning for change.