“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.
How I'm Saving Big This Holiday Season with Raise
I love the holidays, but I never look forward to holiday shopping and the inevitable bill that follows. Finding the perfect present for each person on my list is the fun part, but the ever-increasing expenses means I’m always looking for coupons and sales and ways to save money on the presents I need to buy. Recently, a friend told me how much she was able to save on holiday shopping by using Raise, an online gift card marketplace where you can buy gift cards at a discounted rate. She was able to get 15% off or more on her final purchase at a bunch of different retailers, so I knew Raise was something I needed to check out.
Raise offers gift cards from any major retailer you can think of including department stores, restaurants, even hotels and airfare. The way it works is you browse the site or app for the store you’re looking for and you can purchase a gift card at a discount. I saw this as a way to save huge on holiday purchases - if I can save 10% or more on a store I’m already spending $100 or more at, I’m going for it.
I started working my way down my holiday list and found a lot of deals for my go-to shopping spots. My older brother is a huge hockey fan and has been looking at a new jersey to add to his collection, so I searched Raise for a gift card to the NHL shop and found one for 14.7% off of $100. For my younger sister, I was planning on getting her a makeup kit from Sephora, and Raise had a gift card with 5% savings. My mom has an old, slow laptop and I wanted to get her a new one this year, so I checked for gift cards to HP.com and found a few that would save me 13.4% off of $400. I found a gift card to almost every store I was planning on going to and bought the gift cards at a fraction of the cost. Just at those 3 stores, I was able to save almost $70 by going through Raise first.
As I’ve been working my way through my holiday shopping list with Raise, I’m feeling a lot less stressed about the cost of the gifts. I might even have extra money left over in my holiday budget to get myself a little something for myself. I love how easy it is to save money with Raise and I don’t have to worry about mail-in rebates or limited use coupons. I set up notifications for some of my favorite stores so that I could track when new gift cards are available and catch last minute holiday savings. With Raise, you can see your savings instantly and can make the most out of every purchase this holiday season.
UPDATE 12/15/17: Don't miss out on instant savings for the holidays. Follow this link to sign-up with Raise today before shopping season is over.