“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 declare war on weather.
Tropical Storm Dorian seems all geared up to hit Puerto Rico and, potentially, Florida.
Even scarier, Tropical Storm Dorian might turn into Hurricane Dorian.
Luckily, Americans don't need to take nature's terrorism lying down. Our brave president, Donald Trump, has dreamt up the smartest weather-bashing plan ever conceived: bombing hurricanes.
As a salt-of-the-earth American who loves our president and doesn't have the time to read silly science articles (those are for liberal nerds who actually think education is important), I agree with President Trump––bombing hurricanes sounds like a totally brilliant course of action, and I'm frankly shocked that no scientist in the history of America has been smart enough to try it until now. What did they even go to college for, right?
Something called the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) even seemed to agree with Trump, describing the results of bombing a hurricane as "devastating." Yeah, devastating to the hurricane, I bet!
The NOAA went on to say that bombing a hurricane "might not even alter the storm" and that the "radioactive fallout would fairly quickly move with the tradewinds to affect land areas." I don't fully understand that, but my soy boy roommate (he voted for Bernie lol) tells me that means the hurricane would literally just absorb the bomb's fallout and carry it onto land. So basically, bombing a hurricane could create a nuclear hurricane. How cool is that? My roommate told me I was a moron, but I told him to go lick quinoa. Roasted.
In conclusion, President Trump is 100% correct: Bombing Hurricane Dorian is a great idea, and in the worst-case scenario, we create a radioactive super hurricane, which is awesome.
Also, Hillary Clinton says we shouldn't nuke hurricanes, which obviously means that we should.
We should not nuke hurricanes.— Hillary Clinton (@Hillary Clinton) 1566830039.0