Today we want to take a quick but important moment to say Happy Birthday to legendary actor, entertainer, activist (and our boss) Harry Belafonte! For 90 years, Mr. Belafonte has been a trailblazer in the arts and the movements for civil/human rights and social justice. As a personal anecdote:
About five years ago, my mother gave me a copy of Mr. Belafonte’s autobiography My Song. I had already seen the HBO documentary the year prior, and was eager to dive even deeper into Mr. Belafonte’s life and rich history working with such luminaries as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Sidney Poitier, Paul Robeson, Dorothy Dandridge, and so many others. To this day, the book remains one of my top favorites and I encourage anyone who hasn’t already read it to please do so. You will walk away feeling truly enlightened and inspired.
Fast forward to the summer of 2016 and suddenly I was graced with the opportunity to work with SANKOFA.ORG, the social justice organization founded by Mr. B. in 2013 and spearheaded by his daughter Gina Belafonte, who herself is an esteemed artist, filmmaker and dedicated activist. It has been one of my life’s and career’s greatest honors to work with the Belafonte’s. Thank you, Mr. B., for being such an amazing pioneer, humanitarian, and crusader for justice.
Of course I am far from alone in my high admiration and gratitude for Mr. B! Check out these touching tributes from others whose lives have been forever impacted by his work and legacy: