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OZY Spotlight: Eugene Robinson
SourceLeslie dela Vega


It’s rare these days to meet a true Renaissance man, let alone get all the contents of his thoughts laid out before you. Soak it in, baby.

By OZY Editors

Working in the OZY office, you learn quickly that Eugene Robinson is a man with many, many facets. Accomplished writer and editor, yes, devoted father surely, but also a world champion Brazilian jiu jitsu fighter, classic car shade mechanic, noise band frontman, world traveler and, our personal favorite, tango dancer. 

So it should be no surprise that his work is infused with the broad perspective of a writer who sees the world from many different angles. And that eclectic view has spawned some of our most popular stories – so don’t miss out, and don’t be surprised if he comes at you with yet another utterly distinct way to understand the world.

The Static States of America

The slow, slow pace of representative democracy may make many of us shake our fists and rage that the system is broken. Not so, says Robinson – in fact, this slowness only means it’s working out precisely as planned. Watch him talk us through it in this short video extolling the bumpiness of the American political system.

Glamtastic: Jobriath

It’s about as far from musing about government as you can get: the early 1970s glam rock scene. Leave it to Eugene to remind us that the first openly gay musician signed to a major label was also an incredible talent, one that left the scene far too soon. 

Too Busy Looking Good

Those were the famous words of one Jim Kelly, the man who put the “art” in martial, according to Eugene. Another icon of the early ’70s, Kelly was a bell-bottomed Blaxploitation hero who inspired a generation to get to a dojo. Read about about his life and watch his debut alongside Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon

The Power of Parkour

Photojournalist Mark Madeo captures “freerunners” frozen in the act of flipping, jumping and gymnastically attacking cityscapes. Robinson spoke to him in his San Francisco studio, where Madeo described “every step of parkour as a physical and mental challenge.” OZY got the sneak peek at photos from his forthcoming book to prove it.

A Light That Never Went Out

Arrested, tortured and sentenced to death, Irena Sendler managed to escape her sentence for smuggling over 2,500 Jewish children out of the Warsaw Ghetto and saving them from certain death. Eugene guides us through this moving story of an indomitable woman devoted to reuniting families at great personal peril. True inspiration.


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