Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr. (born March 1, 1927) is an American singer, songwriter, actor andsocial activist. He was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing "The Banana Boat Song", with its signature lyric "Day-O". Throughout his career he has been an advocate for civil rights and humanitarian causes.
From 1932 to 1940, he lived with his grandmother in her native country of Jamaica. When he returned to New York City, he attended George Washington High School after which he joined the Navy and served during World War II. In the 1940s, he was working as a janitor's assistant in NYC when a tenant gave him, as a gratuity, two tickets to see the American Negro Theater. He fell in love with the art form and also met Sidney Poitier. The financially struggling pair regularly purchased a single seat to local plays, trading places in between acts, after informing the other about the progression of the play.
he took classes in acting at the Dramatic Workshop of The New School in New York with the influential German director Erwin Piscator alongside Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Walter Matthau, Bea Arthur and Sidney Poitier, while performing with the American Negro Theatre. He subsequently received a Tony Award for his participation in the Broadway revue John Murray Anderson's Almanac.
Belafonte was the first African American to win an Emmy, with his first solo TV special Tonight with Belafonte
Belafonte received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1989. He was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 1994 and he won a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2000. He retired from perfoming in 2007. ...
Belafonte's political beliefs were greatly inspired by the singer, actor and Communist activist Paul Robeson, who mentored him. Robeson opposed not only racial prejudice in the United States, but also western colonialism in Africa. Belafonte's success did not protect him from racial discrimination, particularly in the American South. He refused to perform there from 1954 until 1961.
Belafonte received the Spingarn Medal at the 44th Annula NAACP Image Awards Article from The Guardian here. Please read. Washington Post here
Belafonte is a human rights and civil rights activist and I encourage you to go to Wikipedia to read about them. Interview with him here.
Fascism is fascism. Terrorism is terrorism. Oppression is oppression.
You can cage the singer but not the song.
Our foreign policy has made a wreck of this planet. I'm always in Africa... And when I go to these places I see American policy written on the walls of oppression everywhere.
I've always been supportive of the right of Israel as a state, and I've always fought against anti-Semitism, even in my own community.
I think Bush has a very selfish, arrogant point of view. I think he is interested in power, I think he believes his truth is the only truth, and that he will do what he wants to do despite the people.
This generosity that has been offered to the United States says very much about the Venezuelan spirit.
You can be arrested and not charged. You can be arrested and have no right to counsel.
George and Joy Adamson