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Booking Harry Belafonte


Harry Belafonte

FEE RANGE: Please inquire for pricing Top Hits THE BANANA BOAT SONG Topics

Civil Rights Discrimination Prejudice Race Social Justice

Harry Belafonte Agency Booking Profile

An actor, humanitarian and the acknowledged “King of Calypso,” Harry Belafonte ranked among the most seminal performers of the postwar era. One of the most successful African-American pop stars in history, Belafonte’s staggering talent, good looks and masterful assimilation of folk, jazz and world-beat rhythms allowed him to achieve a level of mainstream eminence and crossover popularity virtually unparalleled in the days before the advent of the civil rights movement — a cultural uprising which he himself helped spearhead. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing “The Banana Boat Song”, with its signature lyric “Day-O”. Throughout his career he has been an advocate for civil rights and humanitarian causes. Robeson opposed not only racial prejudice in the United States, but also western colonialism in Africa. Belafonte’s success did not protect him from racial discrimination, particularly in the American South. He refused to perform there from 1954 until 1961. In 1960 he appeared in a campaign commercial for Democratic Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy, who later named Belafonte cultural advisor to the Peace Corps. Belafonte gave the keynote address at the ACLU of Northern California’s annual Bill of Rights Day Celebration In December 2007 and was awarded the Chief Justice Earl Warren Civil Liberties Award. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival featured the documentary film Sing Your Song, a biographical film focusing on Belafonte’s contribution to and his leadership in the civil rights movement in America and his endeavors to promote social justice globally. In 2011 Belafonte also presented his memoir My Song. Please contact SME today to book Harry Belafonte


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