If you are an expert in cinema, you can't discuss the progression without mentioning Harry Belafonte. One of the most successful all-around creatives the world has the privilege to experience celebrated his 95th birthday earlier this month and brought the A-listers out to celebrate.
To commemorate the living veteran, his organization Sankofa.org hosted the event HB95 on March 1st that also presented the inaugural Harry Belafonte Social Justice.
Recipients of the prestigious honor award included Angela Davis, Rashad Robinson, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Dr. Cornel West, Darren Walker, Hank Willis Thomas, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
The presentation of the awards will honor the tenth anniversary of Sankofa.org, the social justice organization Mr. Belafonte co-founded where the proceeds will go in addition to several of its programs, including an innovative virtual/alternative reality technology and arts reentry program.
Guests also included Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Al Sharpton, Alfre Woodard, and many more.
Belafonte said, “I am honored that so many are coming together to celebrate my birthday, life, and legacy. I founded Sankofa.org alongside my daughter Gina and Raoul Roach to create additional space for artists and allies to join forces to garner an artistic approach to the needs of our disenfranchised communities… to use art as a tool to educate messages of hope and to encourage and energize the public to become engaged. One heart, One mind, One soul.”
Gina Belafonte, Sankofa.org Executive Director stated, “Artists are the gatekeepers of truth, civilization's radical voice. Without art we have nothing. Sankofa.org uses the arts as a tool to engage people in action. We are so excited to honor my father on his 95th birthday and celebrate his legacy.”
“We are happy to celebrate this milestone birthday of the iconic Harry Belafonte. As a legendary artist and activist, he is an inspiration to us all. It is also beautiful to see Gina carry on the important work of Sankofa.org to positively impact future generations,” said Bridgid and Don Cheadle about the occasion.
We sent our correspondent Ty Cole to chat with some of your favorite stars as they share how the famed actor has influenced their careers.
Watch the full interview below.