Skip to main content

Raoul Abdul lectures and performs at the University of Connecticut

 Digital Record


  • 1973 - 1988



Sound recordings of Raoul Abdul lectures and performances presented to students in the Black Experience in the Arts course at the University of Connecticut from 1973 to 1988.

Abdul discusses his life and career, the musicians and performers that influenced him, including Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the first classical composer of African ancestry; violin virtuoso George Bridgetower; and Black singers such as Roland Hayes and Paul Robeson. His lecture concluded with a discussion of the Black performers who helped integrate New York's Metropolitan Opera like Marian Anderson, Mattiwilda Dobbs, George Shirley, and Robert McFerrin, Sr.

Biographical / Historical

Opera singer, author, book editor, and gay rights advocate Raoul Abdul, born November 7, 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio, began his writing career as an obituary writer for the black newspaper "Cleveland Call and Post" and later wrote music reviews and articles for the "New York Age" (another black newspaper). He earned a diploma from the Vienna Academy of Music (1962); studied at Harvard University, the New School for Social Research, the Cleveland Institute of Music; sang at Vermont's Marlboro Music Festival (1956) and the Vienna Music Festival (1962); and served as literary assistant to Langston Hughes (1961-1967). In 1970, he edited (with folklorist Alan Lomax) an anthology entitled, "3000 Years of Black Poetry." A devoted advocate for gay rights, he was active in organizations such as Stonewall Mattachine Society and One Incorporated, and spoke about famous African American gay figures at New York's Riverside Church.


17 Reels (Magnetic tape audio recordings) : RR 49 1 reel, Side A-1:03:13, Side B-0:23:41; tape speed 3¾ IPS; track position ½-Track Mono; Substrate: Polyester. The recordings were combined for ease of listening. The combined run time of the digital recording is 1:26:50.

1 Cassettes (Audio cassette tape recording) : AC 1 1 cassette, Side A-0:47:00, Side B-0:27:27. The recordings were combined for ease of listening. The combined run time of the digital recording is 1:14:23.

Existence and Location of Originals

Original audio recordings reside in the University of Connecticut, Black Experience in the Arts Collection, Archives & Special Collections, UConn Library.


Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US