Entertainer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte is known for speaking his mind, and this time he’s lent his celebrity to the fight for gun control.
The legendary performer, who is best known for “The Banana Boat Song,” is urging African-Americans to join the national debate on guns.
“What really concerns me is the ingredients of the discourse,” he said to the Associated Press. “The African-American community … where is that community? Where is that voice? I think the black community, the black leadership need to stir it up.”
Belafonte says the Black community should speak up because the national debate ignores decades of urban gun violence. “What I find missing mostly in the American discourse is the rejection of radical thought,” he said. “They (national leaders) speak within the same dull space they inherited from past oppressors.”
Since the new legislation will directly affect the African-American community, the 85-year-old says Black leaders should participate and the people should embrace “radical thoughts” for solving violence, poverty and inequality.
Belafonte’s legacy dates back to the civil rights movement. He organized the 1963 March on Washington and he was a financial contributor to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.