Harry Belafonte

Mondavi Distinguished Speakers Series

Peter J. Shields Lobby
Winter Quarter 2013

Harry Belafonte, the iconic artist credited with introducing calypso music to mainstream audiences in the United States in the 1950s, reflects on his long career as a singer, actor, and activist in My Song: A Memoir. Written with Michael Shnayerson, the book discusses Belafonte's early life in Harlem and in Jamaica, his struggle to break into acting, his early success as a singer and his award-winning musical career, and his lifelong involvement in human rights campaigns. Belafonte was the first recording artist in history to sell over 1 million albums and was the first African American musician to win an Emmy award. His music has often conveyed a joie de vivre that masks the pain and suffering in which the songs are rooted. But as his memoir makes clear, Belafonte has always spoken out against racism and oppression and worked for social justice. In fact, it is this legacy that the artist hopes most to preserve.

Harry Belafonte will appear in the Mondavi's Distinguished Speakers series, Thursday, January 17. For additional information, see the Mondavi Events Calendar

Selected materials by or about Harry Belafonte in the library's collections include:

  • Harry Belafonte and Michael Shnayerson. My Song: A Memoir. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2011.
    Call no. ML420.B32 A3 2011
  • Steven Joseph Ross. Hollywood Left and Right: How Movie Stars Shaped American Politics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
    Call no. E743 .R675 2011
  • When The Levees Broke A Requiem In Four Acts. Directed by Spike Lee. New York: HBO Video, 2006.
    Call no. HV636 2005.L8 W496 2006 DVD Three Day Loan-MEDIA
  • Oscar Hammerstein’s Carmen Jones. Directed by Otto Preminger. Beverly Hills: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 2001.
    Call no. PN1997 .C35125 2001 DVD Three Day Loan-MEDIA
  • We Shall Overcome. Directed by Jim Brown. San Francisco: California Newsreel, 1989.
    Call no. ML3551 .W39 1989 Video Three Day Loan-MEDIA
  • Arnold Shaw. Belafonte, An Unauthorized Biography. Philadelphia: Chilton Co., Book Division, 1960.
    Call no. Northern Regional Lib Facility ML420.B14 S5
  • Harry Belafonte. Sing Your Song: Harry Belafonte. United States: Docurama Films, 2011.
    Call no. In process
  • Harry Belafonte, Irving Burgie, and Alex Ayliffe. Island in the Sun. New York: Puffin Books, 1999.
    Call no. In process
  • Harry Belafonte, Jim Brown, and Ginger Brown. An Evening with Harry Belafonte & Friends. New York: Island Def Jam Music Group, 1997.
    Call no. In process