Harry Belafonte

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Harry Belafonte "is known worldwide for his accomplishments as a recording artist and concert singer, as an actor and a producer, and for his commitment to human rights. He was appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador on 4 March l987.

"Belafonte has a long and distinguished campaigning record. He became the entertainment industry’s first cultural adviser to the Peace Corps in the early 1960s. He was a leading architect of the civil rights movement. And in l985, he helped bring together 45 top performers to record the song ‘We Are the World’, which raised millions of dollars for emergency assistance in Africa...

"The United States awarded Belafonte the National Medal of the Arts, one of its highest honours, in 1994. In 2000 he received the Ronald McDonald House Charities’ 2000 Award of Excellence in recognition of his humanitarian work. Using the US$100,000 honorarium from this award, Belafonte launched the Harry and Julie Belafonte Fund for HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, which is administered by the US Fund for UNICEF." [1]

"Harry Belafonte is a singer, actor, producer, and activist, who has used his position as an entertainer to promote human rights worldwide. Belafonte raised thousands of dollars to finance the Freedom Rides for SNCC volunteers. He also bailed Martin Luther King, Jr. out of the infamous Birmingham City jail, supported voter-registration drives, helped in leading the youth march for integrated schools in 1958 and in organizing the March on Washington.

"Belafonte continues to use his power as an entertainer in the struggle for civil rights through his production company, Harbel, formed in 1959, which produces movies and television shows by and about black Americans. Belafonte's idea for the hit song "We Are the World" generated more than 70 million dollars to fight famine in Ethiopia in 1985. Two years later, he became the second American to be named UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. A long-time anti-apartheid activist, Belafonte recorded an album of South African music, Paradise in Gazankulu in 1988 and chaired the welcoming committee for Nelson Mandela's first visit to the U.S. after his 27 years as a political prisoner in South Africa." [1]

His daughter is Gina Belafonte.


Critical Articles

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Related Sourcewatch


  1. IPS Board of Directors, Institute for Policy Studies, accessed August 19, 2007.
  2. Board of Trustees, American Foundation for AIDS Research, accessed September 11, 2007.
  3. Prostate Cancer Foundation Honorary Board, organizational web page, accessed July 11, 2013.
  4. Contact, Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation, accessed January 7, 2011.

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