“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.
As a kid, I adored dogs. So, the minute I moved into my own house and finally had a backyard, I adopted a pup named Ape.
It had been years since I had a dog, so I barely remembered what they needed. TBH, it was my older sister’s dog anyway so all I had to do was play with him. Sure, they need attention, walks, chew toys, and romps in the park. But what about food? Should I feed Ape 3 meals a day just like me? Obviously not, right?
I went to the pet shop and picked up Blue Buffalo dog food. I had no idea what it contained, but I figured it had to have the right ingredients since Blue Buffalo is supposed to be the best.
When Ape saw me getting the bowl ready, he was all excited. But when I placed it in front of him, he covered his eyes with his paws and whined, refusing to eat one bite. If anything, he seemed scared of the bowl!
I considered cooking food for Ape but had absolutely no idea about what’s healthy for dogs. How about a steak?!
Before I ended up doing something drastic - like training Ape to eat store-bought food - I remembered seeing Spot & Tango on my Instagram. It’s a company that offers a personalized meal plan just for your canine.
Their UnKibble is dry food that’s made with your dog's breed, weight, and activity level in mind. Vets develop it so it’s super healthy for your pooch. All you need is one scoop!
Their unique method ensures that all their ingredients - meat and veg - are GMO and hormone free. Plus, Spot & Tango uses a Fresh Dry Process to maximize natural vitamins, minerals, and nutritional integrity. It seemed too good to be true… but I decided to give it a try. Anything for my Ape.
Ever since the first bag arrived, Ape can't wait for dinner time.
You can hear the patter of his paws on the wooden floor the moment the bag is opened. He lunges for the bowl even before I have time to scoop it out. It makes me laugh every single time. We recently ordered Spot & Tango’s latest recipe - Cod & Salmon. It has a lot of good things for Ape, such as Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkin, Carrots, and Spinach.
My two-week trial was so outstanding that I signed up for a subscription that’s tailored to Ape’s portion sizes. Spot & Tango ships every month or every two weeks and allows me to make adjustments as Ape grows. The plan itself is super flexible, I can skip, pause or opt-out at any time.
Ape tries every new recipe, but the Cod & Salmon is his hands-down fave. UnKibble makes Ape happier, healthier, and more energetic.
As much as we humans need a well-balanced diet, our canine friends deserve that, too. Spot & Tango provides just that.
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I had no idea what I was doing when I got my first dog, Holly, but my husband had over 14 dogs growing up so when we started dating, I felt she was in good hands. He had always fed his dogs kibble, so Holly (and later, our second dog, Hugo) ate the same way. But something wasn't right. Hugo was gassy and Holly vomited often. We spent so much time and money at the vet trying to figure out what was wrong with them, but kept hearing about more frightening theories and serious tests we'd have to run! And recently, I saw a horrifying story on ABC 7 about how dogs have been poisoned by their kibble. In one record-breaking year, 8,000 pets died after being poisoned by their food, and more recently, 27 brands of dog food were pulled from warehouses for containing pentobarbital, a sedative used to euthanize pets. That was the final straw for my family and kibble.
Many people assume their dog food is safe because of the FDA and the AAFCO, but health and safety has been a problem for years, and the legislation isn't always followed. So, how can you keep your pup safe? Read the labels and buy human-grade dog food. That's where OIlie comes in. Ollie is a dog food company that is committed to being completely transparent by listing every ingredient in their food and working to educate dog owners. It was a bit on the pricey side compared with kibble, but my husband and I didn't need much convincing after we saw the news about poisons found in store-bought kibble, and how changing to human-grade food has been proven to help improve your dog's health.
The team at Ollie takes all factors into consideration to provide the right caloric intake and nutrient balance for each individual dog. And that personalized attention pays off. After a few weeks of feeding Ollie dog food to Holly and Hugo, we've seen the difference that healthier ingredients can make. You can't always trust what's on the label of your dog food. Almost all shelf-stable commercial pet foods contain processed grains, which are terrible for a dog's GI, as Holly and Hugo have experienced. Protein-rich foods are much better for dogs, resulting in more energy and less digestive issues. The kibble industry often classifies dog food as "feed," and the regulations behind pet food is nothing like the regulations for human food. Kibble companies don't even have to ensure the same safety standards that "human-grade" food promises. Just like humans do, dogs feel a difference when they eat fresh meals full of real ingredients (and when they aren't being poisoned!). But it can be very difficult to know where to start and how to meet your dog's nutritional requirements for essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, so Ollie takes care of all that.
Besides the peace of mind for me and the dogs loving the food, the main benefits Ollie boasts are health-related, and the food is even backed by canine nutritionists. An all-natural, unprocessed diet can help prevent and treat disease and can help with managing and maintaining your dog's weight. It can also improve their GI tract because when you put the right ingredients into your dog's system, they are able to digest their food better. Having an antioxidant-rich diet can even make your pup smarter, while the filler-free ingredients full of healthy fats can help improve your dog's skin and coat. These things can, in turn, increase your dog's lifespan (my favorite perk!)
The real proof that Ollie works is that Holly doesn't vomit anymore! And our Hugo's poo is also nowhere near as smelly. In fact, even when they use the wee-wee pad, the apartment doesn't stink anymore! It's amazing how much your dog's diet can better their lives, and yours too.
After feeding our dogs Ollie for over a month, Holly and Hugo are noticeably healthier, with shinier coats, less digestive issues and more energy, and we're a happier family as a result. My husband won't feed them kibble anymore, and even convinced my in-laws to start giving Ollie to their two dogs, Libby and Moxie. I can't believe the crap we were feeding to our beloved pups. Our days of kibble are over, and it's clear my dogs are pretty excited about it too. They haul butt to the kitchen when we put down Ollie's human-grade dog food. My whole family- dogs included- recommends Ollie without hesitation.
Update: The folks at Ollie are extending a special offer to our readers. Follow this link to get 50% off your first Ollie delivery!