Belafonte

“We Must Unleash Radical Thought”: Harry Belafonte’s Stirring Speech Accepting NAACP Spingarn Medal

Along with his rise to worldwide stardom, the musician and actor Harry Belafonte has been deeply involved in social activism for decades. One of Dr. Martin Luther King’s closest confidants, Belafonte helped organize the March on Washington in 1963. On Friday, the NAACP awarded Belafonte their highest honor, the Spingarn Medal. “Numerous strategies in the quest of our freedom has been played out at all levels of the social spectrum,” Belafonte says in his acceptance speech. “What is missing, I think, from the equation in our struggle today is that we must unleash radical thought. … America has never been moved to perfect our desire for greater democracy without radical thinking and radical voices being at the helm of any such quest.” [includes rush transcript]