A number of high-profile guests will be honoring singer, songwriter, activist and actor Harry Belafonte with a surprise virtual party for his 94th birthday, which will take place on Sunday, February 28 at 7:00 PM ET. All proceeds from this paid ticketed event (available here) will benefit Belafonte’s nonprofit organization The Gathering for Justice, which seeks to promote racial justice and end the incarceration of minors.
This event will feature a number of notable guests from different mediums, composing of musical artists, actors and activists. This includes Common, Danny Glover, Chuck D, Bernie and Jane Sanders, Stacey Abrams, Aloe Blacc, Tamika D. Mallory, Rev. Al Sharpton, Jackie Cruz, Aja Monet, Mysonne The General, Diane Nash, Carmen Perez-Jordan, DJ Carisma and Bryan Stevenson
As a musician, Belafonte is best known for his popularization of the Calypso genre, which helped expose Afro-Caribbean music to a wide audience. His debut album Calypso was a massive commercial success thanks to Belafonte’s take on “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” which became a hit single. His activism is also noteworthy, as Belafonte was a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a prominent activist against South African apartheid.
Belafonte founded The Gathering of Justice in 2005 after he saw news reports that a 5-year-old Black girl had been arrested and handcuffed in her Florida classroom for “being unruly.” The organization works with a number of other groups, such as The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the youth divisions of Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP, and the Congress on Racial Equality.