“A tree is best measured when it is down,” the poet Carl Sandburg once observed, “and so it is with people.” The recent death of Harry Belafonte at the age of 96 has prompted many assessments of what this pioneering singer-actor-activist accomplished in a long and fruitful life.
Belafonte’s career as a ground-breaking entertainer brought him substantial wealth and fame; according to Playbill magazine, “By 1959, he was the highest paid Black entertainer in the industry, appearing in raucously successful engagements in Las Vegas, New York, and Los Angeles.” He scored on Broadway, winning a 1954 Tony for Best Featured Actor in a Musical – John Murray Anderson's Almanac. Belafonte was the first Black person to win the prestigious award. A 1960 television special, “Tonight with Belafonte,” brought him an Emmy for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Musical Program or Series, making him the first Black person to win that award. He found equal success in the recording studio, bringing Calypso music to the masses via such hits as “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and “Jamaica Farewell.”
Harry Belafonte - Day-O (The Banana Boat Song) (Live)www.youtube.com
Belafonte’s blockbuster stardom is all the more remarkable for happening in a world plagued by virulent systemic racism. Though he never stopped performing, by the early 1960s he’d shifted his energies to the nascent Civil Right movement. He was a friend and adviser to the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. and, as the New York Times stated, Belafonte “put up much of the seed money to help start the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and was one of the principal fund-raisers for that organization and Dr. King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center notes that “he helped launch one of Mississippi’s first voter registration drives and provided funding for the Freedom Riders. His activism extended beyond the U.S. as he fought against apartheid alongside Nelson Mandela and Miriam Makeba, campaigned for Mandela’s release from prison, and advocated for famine relief in Africa.” And in 1987, he received an appointment to UNICEF as a goodwill ambassador.
Over a career spanning more than seventy years, Belafonte brought joy to millions of people. He also did something that is, perhaps, even greater: he fostered the hope that a better world for all could be created. And, by his example, demonstrated how we might go about bringing that world into existence.
Basic Homeowners Insurance Surprisingly Doesn't Cover These Things
Raising a family in my own home has been a goal of mine for as long as I can remember...even before I met my wife. Once I took the plunge and bought a house, got a mortgage, and we purchased homeowner's insurance because it was a requirement. Unfortunately, I signed a policy without looking too deeply at the fine print. It turns out, a lot of people think homeowner's insurance covers all their needs, but that's a myth.
So, when my wife's parents got a home warranty plan from TotalHome Warranty by HomeServe, she wanted to get one too. At first, I thought my wife was being overly dramatic, and we had everything we needed taken care of by our homeowner's insurance. Boy was I wrong! I started looking into it and discovered that problems which usually happen to due wear and tear around the home aren't even covered by basic homeowners' insurance.
In doing my research, I realized that TotalHome Warranty offers a home warranty plan for the covered repair or replacement on appliances and home systems - such as refrigerators, washer/dryers, and electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems. A plan is relatively inexpensive and having one in place can help avoid home repair headaches down the line. Plus, the best thing is that TotalHome Warranty finds a technician for you, and they have a 24-hour hotline you can call any time of the day or night.
Here are four common issues that most basic homeowner's insurance won't help you with:
1. Appliance Breakdowns
Laundry isn't optional. When your washer or dryer isn't working, your entire household comes to a standstill. Same can be said for major appliances. For example, can you imagine life with 3 kids without a working refrigerator, oven, or dishwasher? With an appliance plan from TotalHome Warranty, you'll feel good knowing that a breakdown may be covered, and my family can still get a hot meal, and have clean clothes.
2. Heating/Cooling System Failure
When my central AC went down in the middle of last summer, things got pretty uncomfortable pretty fast. I was stuck waiting while my family got overheated in more ways than one (let's just say there were a lot of arguments that summer). I ended up having to dig into our savings to get it fixed. I was kicking myself knowing that I should have been prepared before my AC went on the fritz. Now that I have a plan from TotalHome Warranty, I have peace of mind knowing covered repairs will be taken care of.
3. Burst Water Pipes
In my opinion, there's nothing worse than water damage in a home. And having to deal with burst water pipes can cause some serious homeowner stress. And the biggest stress of all for me is that I hate dealing with plumbers because I never know if I can trust their estimates. Having a plan from TotalHome Warranty in place before something happens makes me feel at ease as I know that they have trusted, local, licensed technicians that I can call 24/7, 365 days a year and they can help me with a covered repair.
4. Electrical Problems
I live in a beautiful old house, with much of the same architecture as when it was built in the 1900s. But the circuits in older homes just aren't made to handle the many electric gadgets we use in modern life. We're starting to notice that the circuit breaker flips far more often than usual, and sometimes we get dips or sags in power. It's a huge bother, but back then, I didn't want to call an electrician because I was afraid it would cost thousands to fix properly. Now that we have a home warranty plan in place, I feel more at ease and less homeowner stress when I think about future electrical problems with my antique home.
All said and done, I can't believe how many common household problems caused by normal wear and tear were not covered by most basic homeowners' insurance. Now that I have a plan from TotalHome Warranty by HomeServe, I don't hesitate to call when I have a covered problem with my appliances, interior plumbing, electric, heating or cooling systems.
Update: HomeServe is extending a new offer to celebrate the launch of TotalHome Warranty. Follow this link or call 1-866-765-4208 to receive $100 off your first year.