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Belafonte, Harry

b. 1927

A very popular singer and actor of West Indian background, Harry Belafonte was the most prominent celebrity endorser of the Civil Rights Movement. He was a close confidante of Dr. King, whom he met as early as 1953. Belafonte used both his personal funds and his ability to raise revenue to support the work of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as well as various other civil rights organizations. He played an important role in raising bail for jailed activists, in financing the Freedom Rides and in bankrolling Freedom Summer. He also supported voter registration drives, helped organize celebrity participation in the March on Washington and marched in all major demonstrations. Belafonte continues to remain one of the world’s most prominent human rights activists.

Associated Archive Content : 57 results

Letter from John O. Killens to MLK About a Book Party

In this letter, Killens discusses the possibility of a book party in Dr. King's honor. Killens, Ruby Dee, Lofton Mitchell, Ossie Davis, and Harry Belafonte are exploring this idea and believe that at this event many books would be sold and the message of civil rights could be communicated to thousands.

Letter from Lars Andr. Larssen to MLK

The Fredskontoret (Peace Bureau) of Norway invites Dr. King to speak in Oslo, with proceeds from the broadcast of his speech going towards the Civil Rights Movement.

Letter from Leroy R. Weiner

Leroy R. Weiner writes Mr. Harry Belafonte addressing a recent appeal made on behalf of the organization SNCC.

Letter from MLK to Harry Belafonte

Dr. King writes Harry Belafonte to discuss the date, time, and occasion for the March on Washington. Dr. King also expresses his desire for Belafonte to be present.

Letter from MLK to Harry Belafonte

Dr. King appeals to Harry Belafonte for assistance with the Freedom Festival at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. The Freedom Festival will benefit the SCLC at a time when it is experiencing financial hardship.

Letter from the Chairman of the Martin Luther King Fund to MLK

The Chairman of the Martin Luther King Fund informs Dr. King that they have distributed copies of the Letter from Birmingham Jail. Those who read the letter were impressed and described it as a "masterful job." The organization contributes to the SCLC for lobbying the passage of the President's Civil Rights Bill.

Letter from The Martin Luther King Fund to MLK

The Executive Committee of The Martin Luther King Fund in Sweden commends Dr. King's non-violent approach to the fight for civil rights in America. They also present Dr. King with a monetary donation raised from an earlier performance featuring Dr. King and Harry Belafonte at the Royal Opera House in Stockholm.

Letter from Wyatt Walker to Hy Resnick

On behalf of Dr. King, Wyatt Walker thanks Hy Resnick and the Mount Vernon YM & YWHA for their efforts to raise money to aid the civil rights movement. He then suggests a number of entertainers that might be useful through Harry Belafonte's associations.

Martin Luther King's Fund

The Facts and Activity Program of the Swedish Organization developed "The Martin Luther King Fund" to raise money in support of Dr. King. The group has raised funds through the sale of tickets and recordings at the Stockholm Opera.

Membership Director's Report to CORE Convention

In this report to the members of CORE, Mr. Robinson outlines the goals for acquiring new contributing associate members and keeping the members they have. It is also concerned with increasing the amount of the donations. The report specifically focuses on membership maintenance, recruitment, growth and the impact of holiday cards.

MLK Appears on “Tonight” Show with Harry Belafonte

This press release informs individuals about Dr. King's upcoming appearance on the NBC-TV "Tonight" show with Harry Belafonte.

MLK Schedule

This schedule of Dr. King's lists the dates and places he will be for the month of September and October.

MLK's Remarks to Swedish Audience

Dr. King delivers a speech in Stockholm, Sweden applauding the nation's commitment and support of racial justice in America. King further articulates his belief that despite several social ills people will "be able to sing together in the not too distant future."

Note from Harry Belafonte to MLK

Harry and Julie Belafonte congratulate Dr. King on receiving the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize. Harry Belafonte is an American entertainer and social activist.

Proposed Program: Lincoln Memorial

This program entails several male and female speakers who are deeply rooted and connected in the Civil Rights Movement. These speakers were expected to speak at the Lincoln Memorial.

SCLC Annual Meeting

This program outlines the schedule of events for SCLC's 1961 annual meeting.

SCLC Newsletter: April - May 1964

This second volume of the SCLC Newsletter includes a wide variety of articles on the organization's recent interests and activities. The feature article reports the success of the historic Selma to Montgomery march, and other articles touch on the SCLC's efforts to register new voters.

SCLC Newsletter: September 1961

This September 1961 SCLC newsletter opens with a description of the Annual Convention scheduled to take place later that month in Nashville, Tennessee. The next section includes brief biographies of Harry Belefonte and South African singer Miriam Makeba, both slated to star in the convention's opening benefit concert. This section also outlines the advances SCLC made in its Leadership Training Program and future plans for the Citizenship Program, dedicated to increasing literacy in southern states.

Stars for Freedom 1967

This magazine highlights celebrities who have contributed to the Civil Rights Movement as well as the contributions of SCLC and other programs across America. Featured in the article is statement by SCLC President, Dr. King.

Statement on the Indictment of MLK

The "Committee to Defend Martin Luther King, Jr." issued this statement, accusing the state of Alabama of falsely distorting Dr. King's 1958 income tax return in an attempt to indict him.

Swedish Martin Luther King Fund

The Martin Luther King Fund was an internationally housed organization in which numerous countries participated in helping to support and spread Dr. King's messages. This document represents the facts and activity program of the Swedish organization headquartered in Stockholm. Included are lists of the Executive Committee, Honorary Board members, and activities designed to create a better understanding of Dr. King's work.

Telegram from Harry Belafonte to Coretta Scott King

In this telegram, Mr. Belafonte sympathizes with Mrs. King as she is preparing for Dr. King's sentence of four months in prison.

Telegram from John Conyers Jr. to MLK about a Meeting

In this telegram John Conyers, Jr. extends an invitation to Dr. King to attend a meeting for the discussion of black politics and related considerations. The meeting was to include Lerone Bennett, Julian Bond, Harry Belfonte, Richard Hatcher, Floyd McKissick, and Carl Stokes. Conyers also informs Dr. King of his itinerary and provides a number for him to be contacted.

Telegram from MLK to Chris Folker

Dr. King expresses enthusiasm regarding his upcoming trip to Sweden.

Telegram from MLK to Robert Sarnoff

Dr. King commends Robert Sarnoff and NBC for sponsoring Harry Belafonte's guest role on the "Tonight Show."

Tonight Show Appearance Press Release

The SCLC announces that Dr. King will appear on the Tonight Show with Harry Belafonte filling in for Johnny Carson as host. Comedian Nipsey Russell and actor Paul Newman, both active in the civil rights movement, will also be guests. Dr. King looks forward to this opportunity to speak about the upcoming Poor People?s Campaign.

Where Do We Go From Here Book Mailing

The people listed here received an advance copy of Dr. King's "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community," which was published in 1967.

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