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Harry Belafonte, 96 year old singer, actor, and steadfast activist dies

Harry Belafonte, the iconic musician, actor, and social activist, passed away today at the age of 96. Belafonte was a trailblazer who used his platform to fight for civil rights and social justice, and his legacy will continue to inspire generations to come.

Born in Harlem, New York in 1927, Belafonte grew up in poverty and struggled with dyslexia. Despite these challenges, he developed a passion for music and began performing in nightclubs in the 1940s. He quickly gained a following for his unique blend of jazz, folk, and Caribbean music, and he went on to become one of the most successful and influential musicians of his time.

Belafonte's music was more than just entertainment; it was a tool for social change. In the 1950s and 1960s, he was a prominent figure in the civil rights movement, working closely with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders to advance the cause of racial equality. He helped to organize the March on Washington in 1963, where King gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Belafonte's activism extended beyond civil rights to issues like poverty, health care, and the environment. He was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and helped to bring attention to the suffering of children around the world. He also spoke out against the Vietnam War and was an advocate for nuclear disarmament.

In addition to his music and activism, Belafonte was a successful actor. He starred in several films, including "Carmen Jones" and "Island in the Sun," and he was the first African American to win an Emmy award. He was also a respected producer and helped to bring Caribbean music to a wider audience through his record label, RCA Victor.

Belafonte's impact on music and society cannot be overstated. He paved the way for future generations of artists and activists, and his legacy will continue to inspire and guide us. As we mourn his passing, let us also celebrate his life and the incredible contributions he made to our world.