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Harry Belafonte
Kennedy Center play explores racism and the Nat King Cole television show

On Nov. 5, 1956, the American network television audience was graced with the soothing, rich and perfect-pitch baritone voice of one of the first African Americans to have his own variety series program. The "Nat King Cole Show" debuted that day on NBC at a time when the country was grappling with racial segregation. Those seeking to end it saw their efforts gaining momentum, while those intent on maintaining the status quo dug in their heels and vowed not to change. Even though Cole was without a doubt one of the greatest voices of the time, and still is, many white viewers did not welcome the extraordinarily talented singer, pianist and polished host into their homes. With...