“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.
Where To Find Your New Favorite Pair Of Glasses
If you're like me, you go through a new pair of sunglasses every few months. There has to be a better, more sustainable way to shop for sunglasses.
If you're like me, you go through a new pair of sunglasses every few months.
Many of us don't have the money to drop $100+ on a reliable pair of shades, so we fall into the trap of buying cheap, poorly made sunglasses from Bodega corner stores or from the mall. Sure, they last for a while. But after a few months, they either get scratched, lost, or you just don't care enough to truly take good care of them. There has to be a better, more sustainable way to shop for sunglasses. What if I told you that you can buy a good pair of shades at an affordable price, and change lives in the process? At Diff Charitable Eyewear, more than 2 million lives have been changed as a result of their sunglasses. Before you roll your eyes, let's break it down.
At DIFF, they believe that vision is power, and have committed themselves to create a world that gives everyone equal access to affordable vision care. Since the company's launch in 2014, DIFF has provided over 2 million people with the gift of sight through eye exams, surgeries, glasses, and medicine. And it's all because of your sunglass purchases! DIFF has an ongoing partnership with Sightsavers – an international non-governmental organization that works to combat avoidable blindness and promote equality for people with visual impairments in developing nations. Together, DIFF and Sightsavers have provided sight and eye care to millions of struggling people around the world.
DIFF is also involved in a charity project known as Project DIFF, which offers worldwide programs that support empowerment and education, such as their Pouch Program and Tribe Alive Partnership in Honduras. Their Pouch Program crafts colorful sunglass cases in Uganda, while Tribe Alive makes unique sunglass chains that provide reliable incomes to female artisans.
Aside from their philanthropic aspects, the great thing about DIFF eyewear is that they don't just offer fashionable sunglasses. They also offer blue light glasses for people who stare at a computer screen all day. They also have prescription lenses, reading glasses, and even a skincare line that features a hydrogel eye mask and organic eye serum made from grapeseed oil, coconut oil, and Vitamin C.
For those overwhelmed by the number of choices at their disposal, it's easy to find DIFF's bestsellers on their website. With its ultra-modern brow bar and teardrop lens, the Koko Sunglasses are a great pair of shades. Koko's versatile silhouette adds a splash of sexy to an already sophisticated look for only $95. Perhaps you're looking for a pair that are a tad more minimalist? Check out DIFF's Summit shades are the perfect subtle accessory at just $89. The Summit's evergreen unisex style complements any outfit. Its delicate detailing is a go-to accessory that's sophisticated and stylish without being too loud.
Aside from DIFF's greatest hits, there are plenty of collaborations with some of today's biggest celebrities! From legendary singers like H.E.R. to collabs with Lauren London and Jessie James Decker. DIFF even created a Star Wars line in support of the latest trilogy. The point is that DIFF Charitable Eyewear not only cares about making a difference but actually makes a difference while creating some of the trendiest shades on the market. The point is, there's a lot to browse and choose from, and all of it supports an amazing cause! So for those in the market for a new, affordable pair of glasses, DIFF Charitable Eyewear should be your one-stop shop.
Learn more about Diff sunglasses here.