“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.
Home of celebrities and neo-nazis, Twitter has it all. With nearly 400 million users globally — half of them active — the social networking and micro-blogging platform remains the central spot for 280-character musings.
Known for its fandoms, spam bots, garbage discourse, and the tantalizing opportunity to respond directly to even the most famous of people, it’s now going to be known for Elon Musk’s desecration of it.
The multi-billionaire — ex-husband of Grimes — and purchaser of the title of “founder of Tesla” boasts 100 million+ Twitter followers, 20k+ tweets, and the title of CEO as of 2022.
Despite the goal of redefining Twitter as an innovation of grand proportions and as a “free speech” haven, Musk’s tyrannical management style may cause the platform to grind to a screeching halt any moment. Instead of a slow sinking ship, Musk crashed into the iceberg and then set off rocket launchers at the escaping boats.
Here’s a timeline of Musk’s acquisition and subsequent murder of Twitter:
Most recent news at the top — scroll down and read up for a full chronological timeline (this will be updated frequently)
Then-CEO Jack Dorsey replied, “Same.” A user suggested the multi-millionaire should buy Twitter and Musk replied, “How much is it?” So technically, this dumpster fire has been 5 years in the making.