Harry Belafonte, Warrior for Justice

Deneen L. Brown, in the Washington Post:

Actor, singer and human rights advocate Harry Belafonte called on Phi Beta Sigma during the fraternity’s Centennial Founders’ Day Gala Saturday night in Washington to join a worldwide movement to end the violence and oppression against women

Belafonte, who is well known for his historical contributions to the civil rights movement, was keynote speaker during the gala at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington. Earlier that night, Belafonte was inducted as an honorary member into the fraternity, one of the largest men’s organizations in the world.

“My contribution as a new member of the fraternity is to sucker all of you into coming with me and man up and stand up. When the time comes, we will be in touch and you will be informed to join us in the this movement in the 21st century,” Belafonte told a crowd of more than 1,000 people. “Let us use this century to be the century where we say we started the mission to end the violence and oppression of women.”

Belafonte, 86, who for more than 70 years has fought against racial oppression, recently created an organization called Sankofa Justice & Equity Fund, a nonprofit focused on social justice and helping marginalized people throughout the world…

Activists are “gathering now to say, ‘Man up. All men who are stepping into this moment to say, ‘We will accept the responsibility for what we have done in the abuse of women and we acknowledge that abuse and we are here to declare ourselves as the tenders to the future to never, ever let our children be the abusers of women in our lifetime.’ ”

The crowd rose in applause…

Back last November, Politico reported that Mr. Belafonte was stumping for Bill deBlasio, and severely wounding the tender fee-fees of the One Percenters:

… “Already we have lost 14 states in this union to the most corrupt group of citizens I’ve ever known,” Belafonte said at the First Corinthian Baptist Church, according to Capital New York. “They make up the heart and the thinking in the minds of those who would belong to the Ku Klux Klan. They are white supremacists. They are men of evil. They have names. They are flooding our country with money.

“They’ve come into to New York City,” Belafonte added. “They are beginning to buy their way in to city politics. They are pouring money into Presbyterian Hospital to take over the medical care system. The Koch brothers, that’s their name. Their money is already sewn into the fabric of our daily system, and they must be stopped.”…

May this great man live a thousand years, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable!

22 replies
  1. 1
    Jerzy Russian says:

    May this great man live a thousand years, to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable!

    Indeed. Does he still perform? It would be great to go see him.

  2. 2
    Aji says:

    Anne Laurie, would it be okay if I posted a link to a Kickstarter Project in your thread? It’s the daughter of a friend, who’s trying to produce a documentary about an operatic tenor in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, who’s working to pursue his dream. I think Mr. Belafonte would approve of the project. :-)

  3. 3
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Good for Harry for still speaking out. Still remember him from The Muppet Show, which was one of Jim Henson’s favorite episodes.

  4. 4
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Aji: No problem – go ahead!

  5. 5
    Ash Can says:

    Great post. Harry Belafonte is a world treasure.

  6. 6
    Mike in NC says:

    The documentary “Billionaires’ Tea Party” does a decent job of exposing the Koch brothers and their decades of malevolence. Back in 1980 they drafted a Libertarian Party platform that would be a wet dream to today’s GOP. No IRS, no FDA, no EPA, no FBI, etc. and no taxes or regulations on big corporations like Koch Industries.

  7. 7
    jharp says:

    Just wondering.

    Does Bridget Kelly have custody of her 4 kids and due to her antics might she lose said custody in due time?

    I would love to hear her sing.

  8. 8
    Aji says:

    @Anne Laurie: Oh, thank you!

    Here’s the Kickstarter page, and for those who want some background, here’s her mom’s diary over at the GOS.

    Here’s an excerpt of the project description:

    THE TENOR FROM ABIDJAN is a feature documentary that will tell the true story of one West African’s unlikely affair with the Opera, and his quest to realize his dreams of becoming a professional singer despite the overwhelming odds against him. The film will focus on Landry Assokoly, a 24 year-old Ivorian living in the tropical city of Abidjan, and follow him as he vies for a spot in a top European conservatory in hopes of one day becoming an International Opera star.

    The film will portray Landry’s experience on the ground in Cote d’Ivoire, and his ultimate move to the Netherlands as he begins the application process, and follow him through journey in Europe and auditions at various conservatories. The Tenor from Abidjan is a film is about an underdog’s hope in the face of adversity, and about daring to dream – but most of all it celebrates the unlikely story of Landry’s love for the Opera.

    They need to raise $22,500 in 30 days. There are 25 days to go, and they’re almost halfway there. The problem with Kickstarter is that you MUST raise 100%, or you get nothing. People can pledge amounts that total $22,499, but they see none of it if they don’t get that extra buck to hit the goal amount.

    We don’t have much, but we’re in for $30 as of an hour or so ago. I’m trying to get all my FB buddies to match it.

  9. 9
    LanceThruster says:

    I judge how much I like Belefonte by how much I hate those who dislike Harry.

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    severely wounding the tender fee-fees of the One Percenters:

    The vile parasites need more than their tender fee-fees wounded.

  11. 11
    some guy says:

    Koch roaches everywhere scurry
    Away from the light.good on Harry

  12. 12
    Emily68 says:

    @Patricia Kayden: He sang the Banana Boat song and there was a little spider muppet on his shoulder that sang “daylight come and me wanna go home.”

  13. 13
    RobertDSC-PowerMac G4 Dual 1.25 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    No doubt.

  14. 14
    RaflW says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: what is it about incalculable riches that makes some people so brittle and weak?
    Masters of the Universe my @$$.

  15. 15
    Suffern ACE says:

    @RaflW: bah. Many an all powerful god has smote entire races over some kind of slight that made sense only to the gods themselves. If you doubt me, try sneaking a “well, there was that one time, but that really didn’t count” maiden past them in your next sacrifice.

  16. 16
    Nicole says:

    Sigh. Harry Belafonte was my very first crush. I was five. My dad had his “Live at Carnegie Hall” album and I played it over and over. It’s a great album.

  17. 17
    JordanRules says:

    Yaassss!! Good on Harry. Light a fire in one or two, that’s all we need to get it started anew. You’ve done so much, we’ll keep it movin.

  18. 18
    mclaren says:

    Why the fuck doesn’t somebody start a petition to draft Belafonte to run for senator?

  19. 19
    mclaren says:


    what is it about incalculable riches that makes some people so brittle and weak?

    When a millionaire gets treated as a little godling by a coterie of hangers-on and suckups and yes-men and lickspittles, eventually the spoiled-brat millionaire comes to believe it. And then when someone dares to contradict him or to block his latest brain-dead folly, the pampered spoiled-brat millionaire explodes in hysterical rage.

    C.f. the drunk-driving C student during his stay in the Oval office.

  20. 20
    Greg Christensen says:

    I just wanted to say that I went on tour with Mr. Belefonte back in the 1990’s as a sound technician. Stayed with him for a couple of years. The man is a true inspiration. We used to get protesters outside of shows almost every day and he would always go out there and talk to them. Nothing crazy, he just went out and made them own their opinions and he expressed his. The man owns what he says. I’ll always respect him for that. He also treated us crew guys very well, I can remember many a night going to dinner with him in various cities where he picked up the tab for everyone at the table. He referred to all of us white crew guys as his affirmative action road crew. Funny stuff. He has a great sense of humor as well.

  21. 21
    StringOnAStick says:

    @Greg Christensen: Thanks for sharing that. I love hearing stories like this.

  22. 22
    SectarianSofa says:

    I am relieved to find less snark in this comments thread than I expected.

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