(The Root) — August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte not far away. It was one of the many moments in which Belafonte, throughout his career as an actor and singer, used his star power to leverage social change, whether it was producing his own show with black leads like 1970’s Harry and Lena or quitting another when he wasn’t allowed to hire an integrated cast. He’s also famous for delivering his untamed point of view without regret, like calling Gen. Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice “house niggas” for their service to former President George W. Bush. He never apologized. With that legacy, it’s no surprise that Belafonte mentioned mega-stars Jay Z and Beyoncé negatively when asked if he was “happy with the image of minorities in Hollywood” during a 2012 interview. “I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility,” Belafonte said. “That goes for Jay Z and Beyoncé, for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen, and… Read full this story
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