Freedom Friday: Rest in Power, Harry Belafonte

The Entertainer-Activist Tradition

Legendary singer, actor, and activist Harry Belafonte recently passed away on April 25th, 2023, and Freedom Friday quickly dedicated an episode to giving him flowers and studying the lessons he left us. 

Host Chris "Citizen" Stewart, CEO of brightbeam, and Sharif El-Mekki, CEO of the Center for Black Educator Development were joined by Winston Cox, an educator, leader, and activist with 30 years in education. 

The episode discussed the lessons to be learned from entertainer-activists like Belafonte, and how he harnessed his celebrity and talents to support the civil rights movement and fight for his people.

In this powerful conversation, the three shared stories of Belafonte financially supporting the work of activists around the country and urged the current generation to note that there are multiple ways to support the struggle for forward progress.

The episode touched on the current state of celebrity activism, what young people can learn from the life and legacy of Belafonte, the current state of education politics, and how we can learn to use the arts to fight for change.