Apr 25, 2023

By Bob Komsic

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Singer, actor, social activist Harry Belafonte has died at the age of 96 of congestive heart failure.
Born in Harlem, New York in March 1927, the son of a Jamaican housekeeper and a chef who worked in the Royal Navy, Belafonte spent part of his early years in Jamaica, but returned to New York to attend high school.
He popularized Caribbean music in the 1950s through hits such as ”The Banana Boat Song (Day-O).”
Belafonte was also a gifted actor; winning a Tony Award for his first performance on Broadway and then becoming the first Black American to take home an Emmy.
He also worked closely with the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., planning the March on Washington” in 1963 and was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador into his 90’s.
The Rev. Al Sharpton called Belafonte ”a culture-changing entertainer, a history-changing activist and an unmatchable intellectual.”
Musician John Legend said of Belafonte, ” if you think about what it means to be an artist and an activist, he was literally the epitome of what that was.”
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