#BlackHistoryFacts | Harry Belafonte

Black history fact #16

Harry Belafonte is a singer, actor, and social activist. The oldest son of Caribbean immigrants, he was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style among American audiences in the 1950s. He achieved fame for his take on traditional Calypso songs "The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)," "Jump in the Line,"and "Jamaica Farewell." A multi-talented performer, Belafonte's career took off with his role in the film Carmen Jones (1954). He is also known for his humanitarian work. Belafonte met Martin Luther King Jr. in the 1950s and they became good friends. Always outspoken, he emerged as a strong voice of the civil rights movement. He was with King when he delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech in Washington, D.C. In 1980s, Belafonte came up with the idea for the recording of the celebrity-filled song "We Are the World" to raise money to provide famine relief in Ethiopia. The song, released in 1985, became an international hit and raised millions of dollars. In 1987, he became a UNICEF goodwill ambassador. Belafonte continues to be outspoken and socially active.

Thank you Harry Belafonte for being one of our voices!

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