Scott Schneider's Reviews > My Song: A Memoir

My Song by Harry Belafonte
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May 28, 12


Harry Belafonte had an amazing life. His singing and acting career were amazing enough, then add in his work in the civil rights movement and his relief work in Africa since and it adds up to a lot. His role model was always Paul Robeson and while he never had Paul's amazing talents, he was still very talented and committed and accomplished quite a bit. The book has so many great stories in it. He lived in a world of luminaries. Went to drama school with Bea Arthur, Tony Curtis, Walter Matthaeu, Marlon Brando. Met Sidney Poitier at a young age working for the American Negro Theater company. Become Martin Luther King's close friend and confidant (King stayed at his apartment whenever he was in NYC. Apparently he always drank Harvey's Bristol Cream and marked the bottle so no one else would rink some in his absence). Went to the Cuban film festival and became a regular there and a regular friend of Castro's (whose favorite movie was Gone with the Wind apparently). He knew everyone and never hestatited to call on the rich and famous for help with his causes. He was the major funder of SNCC and SCLC. He helped found TransAfrica and spearhead the anti-apartheid movement. Organized the We Are The World concert. He was also beloved by fans, especially in Europe. He was even friends with many of the mobsters in Las Vegas where he sang frequently. The book also talks a lot about his family difficulties (2 broken marriages), kids and how psychotherapy helped him. He never gave up the fight for justice and against racism. While the book tends towards the self-congratulatory (I should have made a count of the exclamation points), he is also humble in the book at times. He was a true, if often unsung, hero of the civil rights movement.
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