Harry Belfonte

Singer and activist Harry Belafonte speaks during a memorial tribute concert for folk icon and civil rights activist Pete Seeger at Lincoln Center’s Damrosch Park in New York. Belafonte and Maureen O’Hara are among those will be honored by the motion picture academy’s board of governors. The academy said Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, that Belafonte will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the academy’s sixth annual Governors Awards on Nov. 8 in Los Angeles.

Harry Belafonte is among those who will be honored by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ board of governors later this fall.

Belafonte, 87, will receive the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the sixth annual Governors Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 8, according to the Associated Press.

The talented actor and singer will receive the award for his ongoing efforts to highlight racism and inequality worldwide, according to the AP.

Belafonte, who grew up in Harlem, received the nickname King of Calypso for his Caribbean music style. He first made a name for himself in the 1950s performing blues, folk, gospel and show tunes, and is best known for “The Banana Boat Song”. He later transitioned into film, starring in “Odds Against Tomorrow,” “Carmen Jones,” and “Flesh and the Devil.”

He is an avid supporter of the Civil Rights Movement, and marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Throughout his life he has advocated for humanitarian causes, most notably the anti-apartheid movement and USA for Africa. In 1987, he was named as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and currently resides on the Advancement Project and Institute for Policy Sciences.

According to the Academy, the Hersholt Award is given to “an individual in the motion picture industry whose humanitarian efforts have brought credit to the industry.”

Jean-Claude Carriere, Hayao Miyazaki, and Maureen O’Hara have also been chosen as recipients of honorary Academy Awards, according to The Hollywood Reporter.


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Jonathan Hunter

AFRO Staff Writer