“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.
It's Time to Re-Evaluate Your Fall Wardrobe
As summer slowly comes to a close, it might be time to re-evaluate your fall wardrobe.
This summer has no doubt been unbearably hot, and many of us have become accustomed to wearing shorts and tanks every day. But while our hoodies and long sleeves remain cozily tucked away, they will no doubt have to re-emerge sooner than we think.
As we look for new fits for the upcoming cold months, why not make sure that whatever new wardrobe you buy was crafted healthily and sustainably? What if I told you that your new clothes could potentially support hundreds of elephants?
At Ivory Ella, they recognize that elephants are one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet. With sustainability in mind, the clothes they've crafted aim to protect these beautiful creatures from the detrimental ivory trade. In collaboration with Save the Elephants, Ivory Ella has dedicated these past five years to support the protection of these magnificent creatures. While their passion remains Elephants, Ivory Ella also supports many other charities as well. Not to mention, their clothes are fresh as fuck.
Take, for instance, their hoodies. The Monument Valley hoodie, with its bright yellow hue and gorgeous print, is not only stylish and fly but purchasing one supports the work of the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks.
Or you can rock the fabulous Lotus Swirl tie-dye hoodie, which donates 10% of its net profits to EarthDay.org. Maybe you're stocked up on hoodies and want a long sleeve instead? No problem! The bright sunshine Childhood Cancer Ribbons T-shirt donates 50% of its net profits to the Children's Cancer Therapy Development Institute, which helps fund Megan Bugg's Citizen Scientist Project for Rhabodomyosarcoma Cures.
TheDoodle Dog Long Sleeve is another gorgeous shirt crafted with a good cause in mind, as 10% of the shirt's net profits are donated to Hearts and Bones, a nonprofit organization based out of Dallas and New York that builds a nationwide network in an effort to help thousands of shelter dogs find their forever homes.
We know what you're thinking, though. We're getting ahead of ourselves. It's still balmy and T-shirts are still very much a priority. But Ivory Ella has plenty of those, as well. The Ocean Depth's T-shirt, with its beautiful purple vibe, donates 10% to the Reef Restoration Foundation.
Or maybe you're shopping for your kid and want to get them some fly new back to school gear. In fact, Ivory Ella has a wide selection of great backpacks and lanyards. They also have tank tops, sleep wear, and decorative gear for your home or dorm room!
As summer slowly ends, it's time to revamp your wardrobe with Ivory Ella. Why buy just any old clothes when you can stock up your styles with clothes you know were made with the best of intentions?
Ivory Ella has long stood by its mission to provide sustainable clothing that not only looks great but feels great to wear and purchase. Your purchases can help elephants, aquatic life, children with cancer, pets in need, and more. There is even a full list of all the charities they support if you ever want to look more in depth.
For those ballin' on a budget, Ivory Ella also has a ton of sales all of the time, so you can still support all these good causes for a fraction of the original price. This fall, get your fit on with Ivory Ella, and spend your money on clothes and causes you know are important.