We all lost Harry Belafonte this week. It’s a strange thing to lose someone who is such a towering figure, when their life has left such a meaningful footprint in the world. He was in his mid-90’s and he was as active as we could expect someone to be at that stage in life. And even though much of his work and music happened some years ago at this point, he still felt so involved, with appearances in things like Spike Lee’s Blackkklansman or his interviews in the deeply insightful documentary King in the Wilderness. We also sing his music from time to time at UUCC––only a few weeks ago we were singing Woyaya, which our hymnal credits to Belafonte.
What I appreciate about the legacy of Harry Belafonte is how his dedication to justice and his passionate, musical offerings to the world were always in sync. It is a reminder to me that resistance sometimes looks like confrontation and standing up to power. But other times it looks like joyous song and performing with muppets. Belafonte’s living out his values challenges us to realize that there may be forms of resistance that we don’t take as seriously as we should. For many decades, Belafonte was the ACLU’s ambassador for juvenile justice. I’m not sure that work and performing with Fozzy Bear are as far apart as it seems. Harry Belafonte taught me that.
Do you think there’s any chance that Grover wants to join our upcoming Urban Hope activities? Help with Impact? I know that if I’m imitating Harry Belafonte, I’ll be going in the right direction.
Sometimes it is hard to tap into our spiritual selves or find time to nurture our creativity and intellectual curiosity. Here is a section that reflects on some nourishing materials from around the web and related media channels in order to get us thinking, get us feeling, and get us reflecting on the lives we are living in this big world. **Some Adult/Mature Themes May Appear in Links and Other Attached Material**
Allan T. Georgia, MDiv, MTS, PhD