Harry Belafonte's biography and focus on his political and humanitarian activites.

Essay by Goat300College, UndergraduateA+, March 2012

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One of the greatest composers of his time, Harry Belafonte, is still alive today and changing the world through his influential work. He was born on March 1, 1927, and grew up to become a social activist. He popularized the Caribbean music style. Most importantly he became an advocate for civil rights and humanitarianism. There was a singer/actor who inspired Belafonte, whose name was Paul Robeson. This is how Belafonte's political ideals were shaped. The fact that Belafonte was black himself, he was subject to racial discrimination, particularly in the American South. Belafonte refused to perform there from the period of 1954 to 1961 and was eventually named advisor to the Peace Corps by President Kennedy.

Harry supported the Civil Right Movement and stood by Martin Luther King Jr. Like most other civil rights activists, he was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. The civil rights activist things he did were bail King out of Birmingham City Jail, financed freedom rides, and supported voter registration drives.

One of the most striking things that happened to Belafonte was in 1968 when he appeared on a television special on NBC. He appeared for "The smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and performed controversial "Mardi Gras." CBS censored and deleted this segment, which is just outrageous.

As a Humanitarian activist, Belafonte helped organize the Grammy award winning song "We are the World." He used this to raise funds for Africa, which leads me to believe that this man was very generous and caring. He also performed alongside with 20 other very famous artists to raise funds, and created the single largest concert ever to be performed in sub Saharan Africa. Just recently, in 2001, he went to South Africa to support the campaign against HIV/AIDS. On the other hand besides education youth about disease, he...