Harry Belafonte Will Recieve Honorary Oscar

"Zen Of Bennett" Special Screening - 2012 Tribeca Film Festival

Singer, songwriter, and social activist, Harry Belafonte (81) is scheduled to receive an honorary Oscar award for his more than 60 year work as an actor and an activist against racism and other issues of inequality.  Belafonte, known as the King of Calypso, is one of the most successful Carribean-American artists of all time.  His music career began in 1949 and his breakthrough album, Calypso, which features his most popular song “Banana Boat” (Day-O) was released in 1956.  Belafonte also went on to have a successful film career, starring in over 20 films throughout the years.

While many fans know Belafonte for his undeniable skills as an entertainer, he also worked tirelessly through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s and continues to fight for civil rights today.  From 1954 to 1961 Belafonte refused to perform in the South, wholeheartedly disagreeing with the racial segregation that was common place there. Belafonte also worked closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., even bailing him out of a Birmingham jail and helping to organize 1963’s famous March on Washington.  However, Belafonte’s activism extended beyond issues of race and his work did not end in the 60s, as he continued to be active in human rights issues.  In 1985 he helped to  organize the 3 time Grammy Award winning song, We Are the World, an all-star collaboration which featured Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, and a host of other legendary artists.

In 2002 Belafonte was in the spotlight for his political views, which disagreed with U.S. President at the time, George W. Bush.  In a 2002 interview with a San Diego radio station, Belafonte referenced a quote by the late Malcolm X and said, “There is an old saying, in the days of slavery. There were those slaves who lived on the plantation, and there were those slaves who lived in the house. You got the privilege of living in the house if you served the master, do exactly the way the master intended to have you serve him. That gave you privilege. Colin Powell is committed to come into the house of the master, as long as he would serve the master, according to the master’s purpose. And when Colin Powell dares to suggest something other than what the master wants to hear, he will be turned back out to pasture. And you don’t hear much from those who live in the pasture.” His statement has been brought up several times since and has shown that Belafonte has never abandoned the fight for civil rights.

Belafonte’s many accomplishments and his bravery to take a stand has lead him to the tremendous honor he will receive.  Academy president, Cheryl Boon Isaacs, who says that the academy is thrilled to present the award, has also said “the Governors Awards allow us to reflect upon not the year in film, but the achievements of a lifetime.” Outspoken, intelligent, and immensely talented, Belafonte is certainly a deserving recipient of an award that will celebrate a not just a career, but a lifetime of greatness.

(Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Basketball Wives Big Brother Dancing With the Stars Keeping Up with the Kardashians Love and Hip Hop Hollywood Married to Medicine Million Dollar Listing Mob Wives Real Housewives Shahs of Sunset The Voice Top Chef Vanderpump Rules WAGS
Getting to Know the Cast of Going off the Menu
Getting to Know the Cast of Don’t Be Tardy
No Preview
Getting To Know the Cast of Below Deck
Celebrity Gossip Entertainment
Steven Yeun
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Steven Yeun
Ben Higgins
10 Things You Didn’t Know about Ben Higgins
"Testament Of Youth" - UK Premiere - Red Carpet Arrivals
Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Alicia Vikander
Don King
Don King Net Worth
Jessica Alba
Five Under the Radar Celebrities With Huge Net Worths
brad pitt
Brad Pitt Net Worth
zayn malik
Zayn Malik Net Worth
Daisy Ridley Confirms Talks about Starring in Lara Croft Reboot
No Preview
10 Great Actors Who Appeared in Cheesy 80s Comedies
No Preview
10 Actors Who Cry All The Time In Movies
No Preview
Whatever Happened to All the Actors from the Movie Parenthood?
No Preview
The 10 Best Jon Stewart Daily Show Moments of All-Time
No Preview
Whatever Happened to The Cast of Beverly Hills 90210?
No Preview
Where Are They Now? The Cast of One Tree Hill
No Preview
10 Reasons Why Kaitlyn Bristowe and Shawn Evans Will Never Make It