Harry Belafonte to Speak at Yale

Harry Belafonte, performer and political activist, will be the next Chubb Fellow, speaking at Yale University on November 1 at 3:30 p.m., in Battell Chapel, corner of Elm and College streets.

Harry Belafonte, performer and political activist, will be the next Chubb Fellow, speaking at Yale University on November 1 at 3:30 p.m., in Battell Chapel, corner of Elm and College streets.

The talk is free and the public is welcome.

Belafonte has dedicated his life to fighting injustice, while leading a 50-year career as a recording artist, stage and screen actor, concert singer and television producer. He has been called “the consummate entertainer.”

Since 1956, Belafonte has broken attendance records in most major cities where he has performed; his worldwide concert tours repeatedly sell out. In 1963, already a famous singer, he joined the civil rights marches in Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, as well as the Freedom March in Washington, D.C.

Born in Harlem, Belafonte moved with his mother to Jamaica as a child. He returned to New York to attend high school. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, and following an honorable discharge, worked in the New York garment district.

His debut album, “Calypso” (1955), sparked an international craze and was the first album in history to sell over one million copies. Belafonte was the first African-American to win an Emmy, for “Tonight with Belafonte.” He was also the first African-American television producer, creating and producing “The Strollin’ Twenties” for CBS, featuring Sidney Poitier, Diahann Carroll, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Duke Ellington. He won a Tony Award for his first Broadway appearance, in John Murray Anderson’s “Almanac.” He has also appeared in films, including “Bright Road,” “Carmen Jones,” “The World, The Flesh and the Devil,” “Odds Against Tomorrow,” “Buck and Preacher,” “Uptown Saturday Night” and the controversial “Island in the Sun,” which set box office records.

Belafonte has been awarded the Dag Hammarskjold Peace Medal, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize and the Kennedy Center Honors for excellence in the performing arts.

The Chubb Fellowship is devoted to encouraging and aiding Yale students

interested in the operations of government, culture and public service. Established in 1936 through the generosity of Hendon Chubb (Yale 1895), the program is based in Timothy Dwight College.

Each year three or four distinguished women and men are appointed as visiting Chubb Fellows. While at Yale, they have informal contact with students and deliver a public lecture. Former Chubb Fellows include Presidents Ronald Reagan, Raul Alfonsín and Jimmy Carter; Prime Ministers Clement Atlee and Mario Soares; authors Toni Morrison and Carlos Fuentes; and choreographer Mikhail Baryshnikov.

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Media Contact

Gila Reinstein: gila.reinstein@yale.edu, 203-432-1325