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Iconic philanthropist and artist, Harry Belafonte, is back at the throats of African American celebrities for their lack of philanthropy. While he didn’t specifically name any celebrities as he did the last time, he still expressed his disappointment in African American celebrities’ silence on issues that are specifically plaguing the African American community (e.g. mass incarceration, poverty, education, etc.). Belafonte expresses that never a time in history has there been a plethora of African Americans sharing the lime light.
“From the highest pinnacles of Wall Street to the kings and queens of entertainment, to the gods and goddesses of sports, never before at these levels have we boasted such large numbers of Black participants. All this at the same time Black America is condemned to be the harvest of the largest prison population on the face of the earth, the most destroyed by the diseases of poverty, the most undereducated, the most diminished for lack of self-worth and the most punished by the prejudices of an unworthy justice system. The list goes on,” he wrote on his latest editorial in the Daily Blast.
He continues: ”I have no animus for those who are touched by such heights of fame. I was one of them. But as history has evolved, our individual and collective indifference to the vast suffering of our fellow beings is, for me, unconscionable. The gift of art is a gift of opportunity to change the landscape. Artists can do remarkable things.” It’s quite obvious that Belafonte is more saddened by famous African Americans’ silence than he is angry.