Eslanda Cardozo Goode Robeson had a varied and remarkable career both within and outside motion picture filmmaking, working initially as the first Black hired at New York City’s Presbyterian Hospital in the surgical pathology department. After her marriage to Paul Robeson, world-renowned actor, singer, and activist, whose biography she wrote in 1930, she joined him in several independent film projects. Later she worked as an anthropologist and travel writer. In addition to being Robeson’s talent manager when he worked on Body and Soul (1925), Charles Musser argues that Eslanda managed many aspects of her husband’s film career as well his musical and theatrical career (91). In the silent era, Eslanda appears only in the avant-garde classic Borderline (1930), but later would have a role, which she negotiated to secure, as a café proprietress in the Robeson film Big Fella (1937) (Duberman 207).
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