Belafonte ‘Sing Your Songs’ at Schomburg

Harry Belafonte.
AP Photo/Kai-Uwe Knoth
AP Photo/Kai-Uwe Knoth

Entertainer and Civil Rights activist Harry Belafonte will once again take the spotlight when his acclaimed film documentary “Sing Your Songs” screens during a one-time showcase at the Schomburg Center for Research on Dec. 8.

Slated to begin at 6:30 p.m., the biopic will trace Belafonte’s significant contribution to music, acting and the movement to win racial equality in the USA.

Born in Harlem to parents from Jamaica, Belafonte has cultivated a legacy that began in the military, blossomed with performances with the likes of jazz masters Miles Davis and Charlie Parker, erupted onstage with Marlon Brando and others, exploded onscreen with Dorothy Dandridge and virtually revolutionized the recording industry when he racked up unprecedented sales with his recording of the “Day-O,” a song also known as “The Banana Boat Song.”

The song along with the singer has been attributed to the Grammy awards and a certification of sales for all recordings.

Belafonte is also the outspoken advocate who has challenged many presidents. To those who might question whether he holds the first African-American president to a higher standard, Belafonte has said, the people expect more than any one individual can deliver. He said, the onus is on each and every individual to improve conditions in America, not any one elected official.

“There are a lot of people out here that are really pissed off. We are angry, we are upset, we are sad, we hold our children, we wheel our wheelchairs. We look around for some comfort, and we don’t find any. But we have to look to ourselves. I think the last frontier of truth and hope in this country is the people themselves,” Belafonte said.

“Sing Your Songs” opened last year at the Sundance Film Festival and later aired on HBO to create a national buzz after a premiere at the Apollo Theater where his daughters Gina and Shari surprised him.

The enlightening film is being presented with a series of films presented by the African Diaspora International Film Festival.

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