...By Gift BADEWO for TDPel Media.
Iconic Folk Singer Harry Belafonte Passes Away at Age 96
On Tuesday, the news broke that Harry Belafonte, the legendary folk singer, had passed away at his home in Manhattan at the age of 96.
Belafonte is renowned for breaking racial barriers in the 1950s and is famous for hits such as “Banana Boat,” “Jump in the Line,” and “Jamaica Farewell.”
Belafonte’s Long-Time Spokesperson Confirms His Death
According to the New York Times, Belafonte’s long-time spokesperson, Ken Sunshine, confirmed that the singer passed away from congestive heart failure.
Belafonte’s death marks the end of a career that spanned over six decades.
Belafonte’s Legacy as a Civil Rights Activist
Apart from his career in music, Belafonte was an activist who fought for civil rights during a time when segregation was still rampant.
In the early days of his career, he befriended Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and became an active supporter of the quest for racial equality.
Belafonte supported Dr. King through a lot, including bailing him out of prison, marching on Washington in 1963, and giving money to Dr. King’s family after he was assassinated in 1968.
Belafonte’s Work Against Apartheid, AIDS, and Prostate Cancer
Belafonte also campaigned against apartheid, AIDS in Africa, and left-wing political figures, including Cuba’s Fidel Castro.
After recovering from prostate cancer in 1996, he advocated for awareness of the disease.
Belafonte’s contributions to activism were just as significant as his musical career.
Belafonte’s Personal Life
Belafonte was married three times.
His first marriage was to Marguerite Byrd, from 1948 to 1957, with whom he shares two children, Adrienne and Shari.
His second marriage was to Julie Robinson, and they had two more children, Gina and David.
His third marriage was in 2008 to Pamela Frank.
Harry Belafonte will always be remembered as a trailblazer who used his platform to fight for civil rights and promote awareness of important issues.