Harry Belafonte was arrogant?

Oh Freedom · Harry Belafonte
My Lord What A Mornin’ ℗ Recorded prior to 1972.Harry Belafonte Through the Years | EW.com
 1959-12-31 Composer, Lyricist: M. Okun
Conductor, Composer, Lyricist: Bob Corman
: The Belafonte Folk Singers

Perhaps “arrogance” was necessary.

Harry Belafonte in Concert (Japan, 1960)”.
Recorded live at Sankei Hall, Tokyo, 18 July 1960. From the album “Calypso” (1956)

“The son of Jamaican immigrants living in Harlem, Belafonte
— born on March 1, 1927 — began his career in the 1940s, singing in New York City clubs to pay for classes at the
Dramatic Workshop of the New School, where he studied alongside Marlon Brando and Sidney Poitier.”

Harry Belafonte – Try to Remember, recorded live in the early 1980s.

Harry Belafonte - The New Jewish Home
“I wasn’t an artist who’d become an activist. I was an activist who’d become an artist.
Ever since my mother had drummed it into me, I’d felt the need to fight injustice wherever I saw it, in whatever way I could. Somehow my mother had made me feel it was my job, my obligation. ‘And don’t ever give in,’ I can hear her say still.

‘Don’t let them get you. You fight boy. You fight.’ So I’d spoken up, and done some marching, and then found my power in songs of protest, and sorrow, and hope.”


Harry Belafonte live at the BBC, November 1977.
Setlist: Turn the World Around (with Falumi Prince), Streets of London, Going Down Jordan, We Make Love, Great Song, Island in the Sun, A Hole in the Bucket (with Falumi Prince), Marching to the Fair.

“Harry Belafonte served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was a close friend of Martin Luther King Jr.
He is a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and was one of the co-hosts of the 1990 World Summit for Children. He hosted South African President Nelson Mandela during his U.S. visit.

Throughout his life, Belafonte has been a tireless advocate of justice and human rights.”

Harry Belafonte NAACP Speech – February 2013

Having survived McCarthyism, do you have any advice on how to survive this period of political repression we seem to be entering and to keep the movements for positive change alive?

Do not submit. It is extremely critical that oppression be met full head-on and that it be resisted with every fiber in our being. Absolutely no compromise can be made with it. As a matter of fact, compromise is what oppression feeds on. Without compromise it would be defeated.

Just as some cancers feed on hormones, compromise becomes the hormone of oppression.”

Belafonte Sings the Blues – One for my Baby

One last question. What keeps you energized and active in this work?

Harry Belafonte Bio, Wiki 2017 - Musician Biographies

“Even with all the difficulties and the frustrations that we feel— those of us who have been consistent in this journey—what makes it so remarkably attractive and encouraging are the men and women you meet on the way. I have met some glorious human beings: Eleanor Roosevelt, Fanny Lou Hamer, Ella Baker, and Dr. King, Malcolm X, Nelson Mandela and Che Guevara, and Cesar Chavez and others not quite so famous—they are the ones who really make the journey rewarding. The work I do with UNICEF.  The men and women I’ve met in Rwanda, South Africa, working against HIV/AIDS, and the courageous things that simple, wonderful human beings do for each other. 

In the face of all the inhumanity, their humanity feeds the capacity to endure and continue to pursue honorable solutions to our pain.”

Nat King Cole & Harry Belafonte
Mama Look A Boo Boo NBCTV ’57



Harry Belafonte singing 1954.jpg
Belafonte in 1954
Harold George Bellanfanti Jr.

March 1, 1927

New York City, U.S.
Died April 25, 2023 (aged 96)


New York City, U.S.
Other names
  • Harold George Belafonte Jr.
  • Harry Bellanfanti Jr.
  • Singer
  • actor
  • activist
Years active 1948–2023
Works Discography
Political party Democratic
  • Marguerite Byrd
(m. 1948; div. 1957)​
  • Julie Robinson
(m. 1957div. 2004)
  • Pamela Frank
 (m. 2008)​
Children 4, including Shari
Musical career

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