The late Harry Belafonte, the legendary entertainer and activist, was a man of great candor, style and fortitude. His words and example birthed a conception of freedom and liberation for a new generation to follow. As a man who fought for equity, activism was not just in his work but through how he lived his life. Belafonte has been a generational talent whose artful existence has moved, encouraged and inspired the world. Our community is better because of his place in it.
EBONY reflects on the life and purpose of Harry Belafonte as a quintessential figure in our society.
"You can cage the singer but not the song."
"There were two choices that one could make... One was to do the art of the Eurocentric, which many chose to do, and try to do that art in as perfected a way as you possibly can. There's one thing that's gonna always be true about that fact or that choice. And that is that you'll never touch the soul of who you are, because that's not what your inner soul is experiencing. Every attempt to do something that spoke to the greater truth and the greater glory of what our inner souls were about was what I tried to do."
"If I've impacted on one heart, one mind, one soul, and brought to that individual a greater truth than that individual came into a relationship with me having, then I would say that I have been successful."
"I was an activist who became an artist, I was not an artist who became an activist."
"About my own life, I have no complaints. Yet the problems faced by most Americans of color seem as dire and entrenched as they were half a century ago."
"When I was born, I was colored. I soon became a Negro. Not long after that I was Black. Most recently, I was African-American. It seems we're on a roll here. But I am still first and foremost in search of freedom."