“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.
I Never Thought I'd Be a "Meal-Kit" Person, Until I Tried HelloFresh
If you’re like me, you like to cook but never have time to do it during the weekdays. That reserves Sundays for grocery shopping and thinking ahead of time to plan for the upcoming week. Quite honestly, it can get exhausting, and leftover Chicken Pot Pie tastes pretty bland the 4th time I’m eating it this week. Especially when I’m craving something different on a Wednesday. A couple of months ago, I was hearing a lot about the meal-kit craze as a convenient way to incorporate quick, homemade meals throughout the week that require no pre-planning. Sure, it sounded great, but I had no idea where to start. HelloFresh was a company that I’d kept hearing of, and I soon found out why.
After doing a lot of research on food blogs and review sites, I found out that people use meal kits not because they’re lazy, but because it’s really convenient. After a long day plus a commute, the idea of cooking a homemade dinner is desired, but realistically is not possible. This was exactly my dilemma. I saw that HelloFresh is a meal-kit delivery service that caters to people who like normal food with lots of variety, so you don’t have to eat the same thing every night. Each of their meals only takes around 30 minutes to prepare (for real), and comes in a refrigerated box with recipe cards and pre-portioned ingredients, so all you’ll ever need extra is olive oil, salt and pepper. I logged onto their website and looked through their recipes; they seemed super straightforward and looked delicious. It convinced me to give HelloFresh a try.
From my first box, I knew that I could easily integrate HelloFresh into my eating lifestyle. I ordered the Classic Plan, which lets you select from a variety of meals to receive each week. All of the meals are designed to be nutritionally balanced and give you a variety of seasonal produce. The recipes are really easy to follow, even if you’re not experienced in the kitchen. My food consistently arrives fresh, whether it’s fruits, veggies, meats, or fish. You can select what you want to include and exclude from your delivery (if you’re pork-free, for example), to allow you to truly customize your dining experience. You can also pause deliveries if you’re going to be away, which was a feature I use frequently. On the nights that I know I’m going to be extra busy, I skip it, but most of the time, we order HelloFresh a few times each month. It’s a healthy routine I’ve gotten used to, and much more satisfying than my boring 5 dinner circuit that I’ve been cooking the past 4 years.
After using HelloFresh for a while now, I’ve had so much fun learning how to cook new dinners. I’m so excited to try new ways to cook chicken and finally facing my fears of cooking fish. I’m proud of my creations, even if I did get a little help! HelloFresh perfectly suits my lifestyle. If you work long hours, or spend half your day as a mom-taxi, and you just need dinner to be quick and tasty, then HelloFresh is the meal-kit for you. If you don’t think you’ll ever be a “meal-kit” person, you should reconsider after you try HelloFresh.
Update: The folks at HelloFresh are extending a special offer to our readers. Follow this link to get your first 3 meals free!