Talk:Harry Belafonte

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Paul Robeson[edit]

A large reason that Paul Robeson was so vocal and was perceived as a threat due to his work to END colonialism in Africa by Europe not simply because he wanted peace and friendship with the USSR. Do not come on to this article until you've done research about Robeson. His son as well as many CPA officials have stated he was never a party member. Robeson worked tirelessly to stop lynching, colonialism, racism and classism, he was about a hell of a lot more than just supporting socialism. I am a Robeson scholar so choose your battles wisely! Catherine Huebscher 4:15, Feb 4 2007 (UTC)

Please, not so hostile! I think you would have to agree that Paul Robeson was at least percieved or perhaps branded by many to be a communist, even if he did not state that he was a party member. All this article initially said was that this man was controversial in his time for supporting the Soviet Union, which may have been incomplete, but certainly not wrong. I added the remark about Robeson being a source of inspiration to Belafonte, because I thought it was relevant. Somebody else later added the communist remark. This is not an article about Robeson. Consequently, this is not the place to eleborate on everything that Robeson was all about. -- Menno Dreischor, Feb 11 2007

Note that it was revealed a few years ago by the CPUSA ( or what was left of it) that Roebeson was a Party member for many years, but it was decided that he could work better as a secret one. Don't expect that to be acknowledged by the old Stalinist hack above you, though. Still, I don't see that is relevant to an article about Belafonte, as you say, not directly. It could be worked into a description of Belafonte's long-time support for the Communist type of dictatorship - say, draw a parallel between Belafonte's support of putting opponents of Obama in prison as a third-world dictator would do and Robeson's support of ' no free speech for fascists' which included practically everybody, even rival Trotskyite communists. But this would have to be done carefully, so as not to lose focus on Belafonte. 24.130.15.8 (talk) 06:35, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Left-wing vs. civil rights/humanitarian causes[edit]

This sentence from the opening paragraph changes almost daily:

Throughout his career he has been an advocate for left-wing causes.

--or--

Throughout his career he has been an advocate for civil rights and humanitarian causes.

Please resolve this before it turns into a full-blown edit war. For my part, I would argue that the latter is the more accurate statement, and not because I'm a left-wing nutcase or whatever, but simply because Belefonte does not campaign for all left-wing causes. His activism has been strongly tied to the civil rights movement. Only in the past few years has he voiced his heavy criticism of American foreign policy (and not "throughout his career"). How do the rest of you feel? --buck 03:25, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Muppets[edit]

Is the photo of Belafonte on the Muppet Show really necessary? The article already has a publicity photo that illustates his career as an entertainer, as well as the picture of him participating in the civil rights movement. Is singing with the muppets really a milestone for the man's career? --buck 07:25, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

no, plus, the other images are free of copyright so are 1000% more desirable. Arniep 18:26, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Expand this Article[edit]

This article discusses in detail Belafonte's activism during the civil rights movement and his criticism of the Bush administration, but makes very little reference to his contributions to the Arts, namely his highly successful and influential music career. I also think more information on his acting is necessary, since the article includes a rather comprehensive filmography. While I'm a fan of Belafonte's music, I don't think I know enough about him to contribute much to this article, otherwise I'd gladly take on this project myself. --buck 17:14, 10 October 2005 (UTC)

To the contributor of the recent expansions, well done! --buck 18:35, 25 October 2006 (UTC)

Moron[edit]

If he actually said this, he is a moron.-"In 2005, he referred to Black Republicans "tyrants" and compared those serving in the Bush administration to nazis. He also compared the Bush administration to the Third Reich, and said "Hitler had a lot of Jews" in his regime." Achilles 17:35 25 Oct 2005

  • Thank you for your gracious contribution. However, calling Belefonte a "moron" hardly qualifies as encyclopedic material. --buck 16:15, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
    • Maybe not, but considering that this is a talkback page he is well within his right to comment. I'd rather he do it here than decide to add commentary to the entry itself. As for whether or not Belafonte is a moron...well, the quotations speak for themselves. If he's a deep thinker, it's only skin deep. --cdjaco 22:45, 8 January 2006 (UTC)
      • This page is for discussion with the aim of improving the article. Calling him a moron is not useful. Nor do I think that's unambiguously true from his quotes: obviously he's trying to be deliberately inflammatory, but I can think of a lot of intelligent people who would agree (for example) that Bush is a terrorist and tyrant. --Saforrest 00:44, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

If so called intelligent people think that Bush is a tyrant then they are not so intelligent. Oh and on this discussion page we are allowed to call Belfonte a moron which is what he is.

I have only once heard Mr. Belafonte speak, and that was on television during an interview. He was addressing questions regarding human rights and the way in which the U.S. (specifically the current administration) chooses to overlook egregiously bad policies in some nations while using the same policies in other nations to justify strong action. I found him to be surprisingly eloquent and well spoken. I suspect that his more controversial statements that several viewers are responding to need to be considered in context.

I don't usuallty get involved with this childish flaming, but keep your narrow minded opinions to yourself, this is an encyclopedia. Moron means having an IQ between 51 and 70, which is plainly not apt in this case. Personal slating is not appropriate, not even in the talk page. I'm going to go to the George w. Bush talk page and call him a fascist tosser, let's see what happens. Pollythewasp (talk) 13:51, 2 September 2008 (UTC)\

I also hear Mr. Belefonte speak, after he had make the remarks about Colin Powell. When he was asked if Colin Powell was a 'house nigger' He replied: "He is a house nigger, sucking up to those racist bigots." Now, I think that although slightly foolish, he had a lot of courage to criticize both the administration, and prominent blacks within it, not the slightest sign of moronic behavior.

It does not take much courage to denounce Bush in the USA, and it is no use pretending it does.

If these foolish and inflammatory statements by Belafonte are to be included ( which they arguably shoud, as he said them) General Powell's response and description of Belafonte should also be included. Look it up, it's good (g).

Calling Belafonte a moron is not accurate in a technical sense, as someone pointed out above. Though it would be more accurate to call him a 'superannuated Stalinist toe-rag', this type of language is not encyclopedic, and can not be put in the article. 24.130.15.8 (talk) 06:50, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Relationship with Chavez[edit]

In light of the most recent statements from Belafonte, perhaps one thing to expound on would be his relationship with Hugo Chavez. --216.75.93.106 14:05, 9 January 2006 (UTC)


moving Nazi quote to Talk page[edit]

I'm moving this quote to the talk page, because it doesn't have a reference:

In 2005, he referred to Black Republicans as "tyrants" and compared those serving in the Bush administration to Nazis. He also compared the Bush administration to the Third Reich, and stated (falsely) that "Hitler had a lot of Jews" in his regime.

It's not that I really doubt he said something like this, it's that I think editors need to be able to read the full quote so they can decide whether "compared those serving in the Bush administration to Nazis" is an NPOV characterization of the quote.

--Allen 01:58, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Here's a source link. Harry Belafonte Calls Black Republicans 'Tyrants' Guest458 05:49, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Pot Calling the Kettle Black[edit]

According to Mr. Belafonte's biography posted with the "William Morris Talent Agency - [1]

  • In 1960, President Kennedy named him as Cultural Advisor to the Peace Corps.
  • New York Governer Mario Cuomo appointed him as Chairperson of the New York State Dr. Martin Luther King Commission.
  • He received the 'National Medal of Arts' from President Clinton.
  • He was "revered" friends with Eleanor Roosevelt.

Perhaps if President Bush gave him a "feelgood" title to go along with his other ones and his "honorary" degrees, he'd buzz off... just a thought.

Speaking of "honorary" degrees: I'd be interested in seeing a head to head match-up of credentials between Mr. Belafonte and Mr. Powell / Ms. Rice respectively. OK, I'll quit before this turns into a rant...

R.E. Saab Missouri

Category:socialist[edit]

Does anyone know if he's an actual socialist? Has he declared it publicly? And if he hasn't, should the category stay? 207.6.31.119 11:15, 9 February 2006 (UTC)

That is a polite way of saying what he is. Norman Thomas and George Orwell were socialists. I recommend removing the 'socialist ' tag, and using another one. 24.130.15.8 (talk) 06:54, 12 April 2014 (UTC)

Prostate Cancer[edit]

Please allow a link to the patient and doctor authored prostate cancer website, www.malecare.com , the information website of the eight year old nonprofit, Malecare . The only external reference for prostate cancer that the Harry Belafonte page currently has is to the phoenix5 website, which has not been updated for over three years, since the death of its owner. Its current datestamp and some of the patient information is dangerously outdated and might cause harm to new patients reading it. The Malecare website is updated weekly and is a trusted source of information for new patients, worldwide. Certainly in keeping with Harry Belafonte's spirit of access to healthcare for all underserved people.

Balance of third-party commentary[edit]

Currently there is only one external link to comments on Belafonte's politics, a very negative one:

"The Bigotry of Belafonte - by Andrew Sullivan"

I suggest either this link be removed or it be balanced by one or more links to positive comments. Anything else looks very strange in a biographical article like this.

Wikislick 11:41, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

African-American?[edit]

Does one need to be an American citizen to be African-American? Was he a U.S. citizen? CuteGargoyle 10:52, 24 February 2007 (UTC)

As a boy he spent a few years living in Jamaica, but was born in New York. Unless he has somehow lost his citizenship (unlikely), this makes Belafonte a US citizen. Since his ethnicity includes African descent, popular usage would label him as "African-American". However, critics of the term argue that "African-American" should technically refer to a person native to Africa that has emigrated to the United States (or North America). Here is how wikipedia addresses the issue. --buck 19:16, 25 February 2007 (UTC)
I think it should just say American, not African-American. His ancestry is Jamaican, not African. --Leethal
The majority of Jamaicans are descended from African slaves. His ancestry is African, his heritage is Jamaican. Brendan Vox (talk) 00:31, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, if his parents were Jamaican he would also have been a British subject. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 213.40.254.12 (talk) 20:13, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

Section re: Belafonte's opinions of Bush Administration[edit]

I think that this is necessary and important, but there are several changes I think are due. (1) Quotes from Belafonte are somewhat copious and might be reduced or summarized. (2) Some sources are lacking; for instance, the "Hitler employed Jews" quote is followed by the (supposedly impartial) "Wikipedia narrator" saying that Belafonte's statements are "demonstrably false". While the antisemitism of the NSDAP is well known I think that directly calling someone's quotes "false" is too biased; instead the sentence should cite critics of the quote and be specific, and quote any opinions. I've made some conservative (not in the political sense, I mean "safe") changes, please review them. Thanks Pablosecca 17:09, 13 March 2007 (UTC)

Why in the very beginning paragraph or the article does it say that Belafonte "was" a critic of the Bush administration? It reads as past tense for no good reason. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.114.179.200 (talk) 22:26, 26 April 2009 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Belafonte.jpg[edit]

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Fair use rationale for Image:Belafonte.jpg[edit]

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RV edit with uncited information 24 Aug 2007[edit]

I have reverted this edit to the previous version because the added information, while potentially beneficial to this article, was lifted directly from this website. See WP:Citing sources. Thanks. --buck 21:00, 24 August 2007 (UTC)

Citations & References[edit]

See Wikipedia:Footnotes for an explanation of how to generate footnotes using the <ref(erences/)> tags Nhl4hamilton (talk) 04:21, 1 February 2008 (UTC)

white/black stuff[edit]

re the '68 pet clark tv special: Clark's gesture marked the first time in which two people of different races made friendly bodily contact on U.S. television.[citation needed]

sorry, but definitely not. when anne bancroft presented sidney poitier w/the oscar for best actor for 'lillies of the field' (1963), they embraced and she kissed him on his left check. this would have been early '64.

Belafonte was born Belafonte, not "Belafonete"[edit]

There are many pages on the Internet with the misspelling "Belafonete". Many are copies of this Wikipedia page. They are incorrect. The correct birth name is Belafonte. Please check any credible biography or music history guide (book, not internet). Calypso Is Like So (talk) 20:26, 15 April 2008 (UTC)

If you think it's wrong, show some source for your statement. The Internet entries you cite PREDATE my first change of name spelling herein - also, Shari has used this spelling in her photography credits. The "credible" sources you suggest tend to use stage names rather than birth names even when indicating "original" names, especially if they differ by only one letter. I believe the name change occurred AFTER his birth, around 1930 (one of the several references I provided apparently shows, almost illegibly, a census entry of 1930 for his father with that spelling, as mentioned in the blog in which it is shown). [2] Please check it and reinsert it if you now agree. Meanwhile I'll search for more proof - if needed, I'll try to talk to the man himself (I knew him personally for a few days almost 55 years ago through my contact with the theatre manager where he was playing, and I met him briefly again in 1963 following a performance)

Image copyright problem with Image:Oddsagainsttomorrow.jpg[edit]

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No mention of several songs[edit]

The article fails to mention two of his best known songs "Sweetheart from Venezuela" and "Jump in the line (shake, Senora)", though at least the latter has its own entry. Nor does it mention the pseudonym "Raymond Bell" he used occasionally. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wizofaus (talkcontribs) 08:41, 26 February 2009 (UTC)

Merger Proposal[edit]

Merge Adrienne_Biesemeyer_and_her_daughter_Rachel with this article. --Haruth (talk) 05:57, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Merger dropped as page has been deleted (WP:A7)--Haruth (talk) 13:35, 10 March 2010 (UTC)

wife Pamela Belafonte?[edit]

The article makes no mention of Pamela Belafonte, apparently his wife. Can anyone confirm and edit the article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.97.66.68 (talk) 13:06, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Birth name again[edit]

I have not been able to find a single reliable source online that gives the birth name "Belafonete". The sources cited in the article that are available online are either unreliable, or dead links, or only use "Belafonte". (The Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music does not even have Google snippet view.) This biography (not cited in our article) only uses "Belafonte":

Genia Fogelson (1996). Harry Belafonte. Holloway House Publishing. p. 13. ISBN 0-87067-772-1. Baptized Harold George Belafonte, he was Roman Catholic. His father, Harold George Belafonte, Sr., was a cook in the British Royal Navy. His mother, Melvine Love Belafonte, was a domestic servant and a dressmaker. 

Can someone find a reliable source that shows unambiguously this "Belafonete" thing is not just someone's typo which was multiplied through the Internet? After all, it is also not that hard to find the name given as, e.g., "Belafonote" (see the fourth or fifth column, article titled Show Cut Segment, Comedians Ask CBS).  --Lambiam 09:39, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

the creator should include his achievements — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.57.64.75 (talk) 23:31, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

king of calypso[edit]

after watching s02e05 weeds, where a drunkard lady says belafonte reminds her of Obama, I looked up Belafonte in the wiki, and with all due respect, he looks to me more like the king of COLAPSO, I, as a Spaniard, just wanted to point that out, i mean my turtle looks better... — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.39.195.133 (talk) 20:43, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Gossip, feedback loops, personal information[edit]

This is a biography of a living person so edits were made following policy.

  • Whoever Dan Gainor is, ask yourself whether the source is relevant to a disinterested article about the subject. This is an encyclopedia article about Harry Belafonte, a LIVING & noted liberal activist. Including an epithet that is not in context, not balanced, and is not about a notable event in the subject's life doesn't meet criteria for inclusion. Belefonte's own words in opposition to a previous statement are. (Especially as reported by the New York Times.)
  • Also, WP:BLPPRIVACY privacy issues with the non-notable children and with his street address. - EBY (talk) 12:18, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Until you STOP vandalizing the captions to the images you will be reverted...Modernist (talk) 12:40, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I removed address etc...Modernist (talk) 13:01, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Not vandalizing - "vandalizing" is deliberate intention to deface. Noticed this on another article that after editing around pictures that the captions were wonky, and went into source code to figure out how to fix it - never realized it might be my edits that are causing it? Just started using beta visual editor so going to check in sandbox if this is the problem. Thank you for pointing it out. EBY (talk) 13:50, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
I would like to point out the edits to the image captions are very likely completely unintentional. You'll notice this edit was made with the Visual Editor, and issues like this are a known bug. GorillaWarfare (talk) 14:06, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, good to know...Modernist (talk) 14:12, 20 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Silver lining, you called out the bug issues. Glad it was caught now before I edited anything else. EBY (talk) 14:18, 20 June 2013 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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