It looks like The Bay Area Paul Robeson Centennial Committee and The Veterans of The Abraham Lincoln Brigade will be working together in the ever dwindling but ever steadfast leftist Bay Area non-profit movement. I say dwindling because the majority of those who knew Robeson personally and or who fought in the Spanish Civil war are now in their 80's and 90's. Both groups will be working on getting curriculum into local schools to keep this usually erased history alive.
A good friend of mine, Jonathan F. Smith, who died 1999, left a good portion of his estate to both the BAPRCC and The VALB and this August they will be unveiling the first bonafide national monument in the history of the US that honors these great veterans.
It will be on the Embarcadero in San Francisco and from what I've seen of the previews it's very big and wonderful with Robeson included for thew orld to see; my friend would have been proud.
So who are the Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Birgade? Even after both Italy and Germany fell to Fascism prior to the start of WW2, the US was still reluctant to get involved, but in Spain there was resistance by arms. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade was a collection of fighters from the United States, men and women of all races, who served as volunteers in the Spanish Civil War as part of the International Brigade, fighting on the side of the anti-fascist Spanish Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War against the Nationalists under Franco. One man came to sing for them during these battles, his name was Paul Robeson.
Robeson is one of only two honorary members of the VALB. He would also sing many of their songs including "Peat Bog Soilders" and "The Four Insurgent Generals." Many of these veterans returned to the US and found themselves labeled (I'm not making this up) "Prematurely Anti-Facist."
Like Paul Robeson, they also found themselves hounded in the McCarthy witch hunts.
Notice how in the USA, none of the groups like the KKK or Neo Nazis were ever rounded up in "Fascist scare?" Even when they blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma or were murdering abortion doctors every month? Yet the leftists, many of them not even 'Communists', have endured three very volatile Red scares?
Notice how former President Ronald Reagan and big business pumped well over a billion dollars into white supremacist Apartheid during the 1980's? Yet there is an embargo on the multi- racial island of Cuba to this day?
Whatever your stance may be, the US government has to this day mistreated it's veterans be it the bonus marchers, the Vietnam Veterans or the patients at Walter Reed Hospital today.
Thankfully the members of VALB will not be entirely forgotten the way so many others have sadly been.