Harry Belafonte Speaks on Race, Hollywood

Harry Belafonte Governors Awards

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At last night's Governors Awards, singer, actor, and activist Harry Belafonte received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Born in 1927, Belafonte reflected on the power of cinema to foment racial tensions and embed deep insecurities within the Black community, from D.W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation to Tarzan, "this White liberator." The performing arts, he said, "was an early stimulus to the beginning of my rebellion."

Belafonte, who was a close confidant of Martin Luther King Jr., also invited his friend and fellow legend Sidney Poitier to the stage and commended him for helping to "redirect the ship of racial hatred in American culture."

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