Harry Belafonte

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Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte is a famous actor, musician and activist. He was born on March 1, 1927 in New York City, New York. After his parents divorced, he moved to Jamaica with his grandmother. Growing up there, he experienced the racial injustice blacks recieved in his neighborhood. Seeing this injustice made him want to be apart of the Civil Rights Movement later on. In 1939 he moved back to New York City to live with his mother and served in the Navy during World War II in 1944. When he returned, he saw a play at the American Negro Theater and he fell in love with acting and made it his goal to be famous.

~Won a Tony Award for his performance in John Murray Anderson’s Almanac on broadway in 1953.~Received an Academy Award nomination for his performance in Carmen Jones.~Named the “King of Calypso” after signing with RCA Victor Records and releasing his album Calypso (1956). The song called, “The Banana Boat Song (O-Day)" was a huge hit.~He worked and became good friends with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and participated in many protests and assemblies during the Civil Rights Movement.

~While starring in the broadway show 3 For Tonight (1955), Belafonte faced severe racism and hardship.~Even though Harry Belafonte was treated like a star on television and given the privilege to work with so many famous actors and musicians, he still had to abide by Jim Crow Laws like all African Americans did.

~Introduced Americans to Caribbean folk music by the release of his album Calypso. It sold more than a million copies and was number 1 on the Bilboard Top Pop Albums Chart.~He became the first African American television producer to work on several musical shows.~Worked hard to gain rights for African Americans.

How It All Began

~Bright Road (1953)~Carmen Jones (1954)~Island in the Sun (1957)~The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959)~Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)~The Angel Levine (1970)~The Buck and the Preacher (1972)~Uptown Saturday Night (1974)

Famous Movies


The Banana Boat Song (O-Day).


His Legacy


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