ROCKing the TONY AWARDS – Harry Belafonte

Rock the Tonysharry-belafonteHARRY BELAFONTE

Little Rock connection: Was honored guest at Little Rock Film Festival’s Reel Civil Rights Film Festival in September 2012.

Tony Awards connection: Won the Featured Actor in a Musical Tony Award in 1954 for John Murray Anderson’s Almanac.  He became first African American male to win a Tony Award. He has subsequently appeared as a presenter at Tony Awards ceremonies.

Harry Belafonte and the Little Rock Nine

For the past several years, the Civil Rights Film Festival has presented a film series in conjunction with the commemoration of the September 25, 1957, integration of Little Rock Central High School by the Little Rock Nine.  One of the highlights of this year’s festival will be an appearance by Tony Award winning actor and humanitarian Harry Belafonte tonight.

Though the event is sold out, it is an important event and deserves mention.

Those with tickets will be able to see a screening of Harry Belafonte’s documentary, Sing Your Song: The Music, Hope and Vision of a Man and an Era, guest remarks by Mr. Belafonte; and an awards ceremony to honor both the Little Rock Nine and Belafonte.

Mr. Belafonte was a trailblazer as a theatre and film actor and recording artist.  He broke the color barrier in almost everything he did.  He became the first African American male actor to win a Tony Award for his performance in John Murray Anderson’s Almanac.

Here is more about the movie, which is being presented in conjunction with the Little Rock Film Festival.

Sing Your Song (2011) (105 min). Directed by Susanne Rostock. An up close look at a great American, Harry Belafonte. A patriot to the last and a champion for worldwide human rights, Belafonte is one of the truly heroic cultural and political figures of the past 60 years. Told from Harry’s point of view, the film charts his life from a boy born in New York and raised in Jamaica, who returns to Harlem in his early teens where he discovers the American Negro Theater and the magic of performing. From there the film follows Belafonte’s rise from the jazz and folk clubs of Greenwich Village and Harlem to his emergence as a star. However, even as a superstar, the life of a black man in 1960s America was far from easy and Belafonte was confronted with the same Jim Crow laws and prejudices that every other black man, woman and child in America was facing.