Harry Belafonte/Facebook

Harry Belafonte/Facebook

For the first time since Donald Trump’s presidential election win, legendary musician Harold George “Harry” Bellanfanti, Jr., better known as Harry Belafonte, sounds off with his thoughts on the nation’s new leader.

Earlier this week, the 89-year-old activist addressed more than 2K people, as they gathered to celebrate Democracy Now!’s 20th anniversary at New York City’s historic Riverside Church — which just so happens to be the same place of worship where Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his 1967 address against the Vietnam War, Democracy Now! reports. Belafonte said:

“In a few weeks from now, if there is a platform on which I will be privileged to stand and speak, my opening remarks will probably be something like ‘Welcome to the Fourth Reich.’ I was talking with a comrade recently. He was a victim of the Third Reich. He was a victim of the great Holocaust and what happened to the Jewish people during the reign of Hitler. And all my life I have committed myself to making sure that here, this country, not for the want of effort, but I and so many others would be forever committed to the idea that America will remain an open and a free and a democratic society. With each cycle, those thoughts become a bit dimmed. Now, I think, more than ever, we are in need of Democracy Now!

I’m just at the threshold of my 90th year, and I had often—who said that? I never thought I’d live this long, but to be able to share an evening with Danny Glover, and certainly with Noam Chomsky, for whom I have great affection and deep respect, that I can kind of dance out of here feeling like, well, I did it all. But, in a way, each time it was done, we kind of figured it was the last time we would have to do it. During a lifetime of Paul Robeson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois, those who mentored me and guided me and inspired me, that I should have lived long enough to be able to stand here and once again say thanks to all my colleagues, to all of my comrades, to all of the people who have sacrificed so greatly to make this nation whole—we are looking upon a curious time. But I think it’s a time that should be used as an opportunity to know that we have to make a much bigger difference than we’ve made up to now. We should not let the current state of affairs dull the fact that all that we have done was worthless. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The son of Jamaican immigrants, Belafonte grew up on the bustling streets of Harlem, New York. In 1956, he became the first recording artist in history to sell over 1 million albums within a year, with the release of his breakthrough LP, Calypso.

In 1965, the “Angelina” crooner spearheaded a historic call to action, as Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Joan Baez, Sammy Davis, Jr., Nina Simone, Peter, Paul & Mary and Leonard Bernstein assembled on an outdoor stage constructed of caskets from a local Black-owned funeral home to perform for weary marchers. Following King’s assassination, in 1968, the singer, who is currently approaching for his 90th birthday, quietly provided funds for King’s family.

Most recently, Belafonte along with his social justice nonprofit, Sankofa, held a one-of-a-kind event, billed as “a festival of music, art and justice,” featuring Common, John Legend, Macklemore, Santana, Dave Matthews and Public Enemy. The happening, which took place on a farm in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, brought out more than 22K attendees — donating all proceeds to the organization’s partners, focusing on the issues of mass incarceration and criminal justice, Billboard reported at the time.

What are your thoughts on Belafonte’s reaction to Trump’s rise to leadership?

R. Hawkins

Humble with a hint of Muhammad Ali...

  • Guest

    Is that a recent photo? It can’t be! He could easily pass for a man half his age!

    • Sol Rothstein

      YOU BLACK WHORES…scoping out your NEXT DICK RIDE…Black women have ruined black america…

  • Sal

    Bellafonte is tryin to stay in the limelight of his faded star by joining the social activist hate America crowd. Sad when he achieved here, not in Europe, Africa, Mexico or Venezuela or Cuba. Of course those r all countries he loves, I guess because several of above mentioned countries were run by brutal dictators. But this moron says nothing abt Obama, who did nothing to elevate black America from its high unemployment among males primarily. No tax breaks for black business from Obama, he was too busy playing golf. I’m a black male, educated, who is finally seeing the light. At least Trump has a plan, and saved 1000 jobs before he took office. Wake up Harry. But then, you wud lose ur relevance. I get it.

    • Mason Youngblood

      “I’m a black male..”…named Sal.. ..you will never understand how I know that you’re NOT Black without even knowing you. Hint: it doesn’t just have to do with your name..

    • Guest

      Lmao you do know that he’s been a social activist for most of the 90+ years he’s been on earth.

    • Guest

      How exactly did Trump save 1000 jobs? Are you talking about the Carrier company? Because once again that was proven to be a lie.

  • Joe Zyzyx

    I guess age doesn’t make you wiser.

  • Dev De Silva

    With due respect to Mr Belafonte, all these things he’s stating probably because his idol Hillary lost the Presidential election makes me wonder if he relates the lyrics of his following song to himself:

    “Jackass will jump and bray, let him bray, let him bray …..”

    Maybe he has just woken up from a nasty hangover after drinking all that Jamaican rum and finally realized “Daylight has come and he must go home” back to Jamaica!