Harry Belafonte, singer, actor and tireless activist, dies aged 96


The Guardian

April 26, 2023


Harry Belafonte, the singer, actor and civil rights activist who broke down racial barriers, has died aged 96.

As well as performing global hits such as Day-O (The Banana Boat Song), winning a Tony award for acting and appearing in numerous feature films, Belafonte spent his life fighting for a variety of causes. He bankrolled numerous 1960s initiatives to bring civil rights to Black Americans; campaigned against poverty, apartheid and Aids in Africa; and supported leftwing political figures such as Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez.

The cause of death was congestive heart failure, his spokesman told the New York Times. Figures including the rapper Ice Cube and Mia Farrow paid tribute to Belafonte. The US news anchor Christiane Amanpour tweeted that he “inspired generations around the whole world in the struggle for non-violent resistance justice and change. We need his example now more than ever.”

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