Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte Gave A Stirring, Scorching Speech To Hollywood About Race | #OYRchallenge

Historical speech given by Harry Belafonte at the 2014 Governors Awards. Featured also, Sidney Poitier. 

Excerpt:

It was Robeson who said, as you heard in the film earlier, ‘Artists are the gatekeepers of truth. They are civilization’s radical voice.’ This Robeson environment sounded like a desired place to be. And given the opportunity to dwell there has never disappointed me.

For my like of activism and commitment to social change, the opposition has been fiercely punitive. Some who’ve controlled institutions of culture and commentary have at times used their power to not only distort truth, but to punish the truth-seekers. With interventions like McCarthyism and the blacklist, Hollywood, too, has sadly played its part in these tragic scenarios. And on occasion, I have been one of its targets.

via Harry Belafonte Gave A Stirring, Scorching Speech To Hollywood About Race.

“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]