SableGamine

Harry Belafonte Receives Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

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Hey all! Earlier this year, Harry Belafonte was slated to receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an honorary Oscar, at the Governor's Awards ceremony. The event took place on Nov. 8th, and I wanted to share the video links to his acceptance speech. Listen to the whole thing, if you can; it's worth it.

I'm constantly floored by the carriage and presence of this man (not to mention I found him DEVASTATINGLY handsome). He serves as a prime example of one who believes in using their platform to positively impact others. I'm glad to see that he received it, although I do believe that he, like many, should have won an Oscar competitively long before now.

 

Enjoy, my fellow classic movie lovers!

 

 

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I love that clip. Not only do they seem like they're having a wonderful time, their voices complement each other's well.

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He's a man who's made good use of his life, which isn't something everyone can say. For a while when I was growing up, I had a great school bus driver who always put the radio on for us. (You'd never even know the busses had radios if you had another driver.) One of the Boston DJs liked Belafonte and one of my favorite childhood memories is "Jumping in the Line" coming on and the bus driver cranking the radio. Everyone on the bus had the biggest grin on their face. He was very generous to other artists. He basically introduced Miriam Makeba to American audiences. He recorded "An Evening With Belafonte and Makeba" with her on RCA, singing her music, then took her out on a national tour. He did the same thing with Nana Mouskouri. Both have finally been released on CD and I still listen to them a lot.. He could so easily have been a fad with the calypso albums, but that voice is one of the greatest male vocal instruments ever. As an actor he was a natural, so it's great that he's being recognized by the industry. It's probably not easy to be both an activist and a gentleman, but he's somehow managed to do it. 

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He's a man who's made good use of his life, which isn't something everyone can say. For a while when I was growing up, I had a great school bus driver who always put the radio on for us. (You'd never even know the busses had radios if you had another driver.) One of the Boston DJs liked Belafonte and one of my favorite childhood memories is "Jumping in the Line" coming on and the bus driver cranking the radio. Everyone on the bus had the biggest grin on their face. He was very generous to other artists. He basically introduced Miriam Makeba to American audiences. He recorded "An Evening With Belafonte and Makeba" with her on RCA, singing her music, then took her out on a national tour. He did the same thing with Nana Mouskouri. Both have finally been released on CD and I still listen to them a lot.. He could so easily have been a fad with the calypso albums, but that voice is one of the greatest male vocal instruments ever. As an actor he was a natural, so it's great that he's being recognized by the industry. It's probably not easy to be both an activist and a gentleman, but he's somehow managed to do it.

 

Don't you miss the days when bus drivers could play music without getting in trouble for it? I received the Belafonte/Makeba album as a birthday gift, and I can't stop listening to it. Their voices together really make the songs come alive. He's one of the few people that can make any language sound good. I think it's awesome that the bus driver loved playing his music for y'all. He's one of those entertainers who seems to be ingrained in nearly everyone's memory in some form; I know he's been a big part of mine since childhood. And yes, Im glad about the Oscar, but I don't think that he's ever gotten the recognition that he should have as an actor. He's lovely to look at, but he has some serious skills as well.

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Hey all! Earlier this year, Harry Belafonte was slated to receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, an honorary Oscar, at the Governor's Awards ceremony. The event took place on Nov. 8th, and I wanted to share the video links to his acceptance speech. Listen to the whole thing, if you can; it's worth it.

I'm constantly floored by the carriage and presence of this man (not to mention I found him DEVASTATINGLY handsome). He serves as a prime example of one who believes in using their platform to positively impact others. I'm glad to see that he received it, although I do believe that he, like many, should have won an Oscar competitively long before now.

 

Enjoy, my fellow classic movie lovers!

 

 

He could have come close to Poitier in his film career, but chose to focus on his singing.

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He could have come close to Poitier in his film career, but chose to focus on his singing.

Although he always focused intensely on his singing, it was actually his politics and commitment to social justice causes that affected his film career. Many of the studio execs in Hollywood didn't like (that's an understatement) that he was so outspoken about racism, even in the film industry, and made it difficult for him to get roles. It didn't quite work the way they planned because he's always been popular, but his refusal to sacrifice his principles and his calling others out on their wrong is what really stalled his career for a while. Just to be clear, I'm not saying that other Black actors like Poitier (dreamboat!) did sacrifice their principles or ignore certain things, far from it. It's just that Harry B. had always been more outspoken, and that made him "dangerous" in the eyes of many in the industry.

 

It should also be noted that he and Sudney Poitier are great friends, and that here was never any sense of competition between them in terms of who can be "bigger."

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