Harry Belafonte to receive Indiana Black Expo 'Living Legend Award'

Entertainment legend and social activist Harry Belafonte will highlight the list of awardees at the Indiana Black Expo, Inc. Corporate Luncheon.

Indianapolis

Entertainment legend and social activist Harry Belafonte will highlight the list of awardees at the Indiana Black Expo, Inc. Corporate Luncheon Friday, July 20 – a cornerstone event of the 42nd Annual Summer Celebration presented by 1.800.QUIT.NOW.

President & CEO Tanya R. Bell said, “We are honored to have an iconic figure like Harry Belafonte as the recipient of this year’s Living Legend Award.  Often that title has been casually applied to celebrities.  But Belafonte’s storied career – which spans more than 60 years - is genuinely legendary.”

The multi-talented actor and musician was the first black performer to win an Emmy Award and the first recording artist ever to sell over a million copies of an album.  Despite his entertainment achievements, Belafonte remains most proud of his longstanding work as an activist in international fights against racism, violence and world hunger.

Belafonte got his start in New York Theater, but his sideline as a nightclub singer propelled his mainstream breakout when his 1954 album Calypso popularized the music of his Jamaican heritage and hit number one on the charts.

A respected authority on international folk music and a world-touring performer, Belafonte also enjoyed a career as an actor and producer, where he was involved in important early African-American productions including "Carmen Jones" (1954), in which he starred alongside Dorothy Dandridge, and Lorraine Hansberry's landmark play "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black," which he produced.

As a close friend of the Rev. Dr.Martin Luther King Jr., Belafonte was the nucleus of civil rights fundraising among stars and celebrities and didn’t hesitate to join the martyred civil rights leader on the front lines of protests throughout the South. 

Belafonte was the topic of a critically-acclaimed HBO documentary in the fall of 2011 entitled, “Sing Your Song.”  It presented an impressive parade of footage from his concerts and TV appearances and illustrated how fame allowed his skill as an entertainer to dovetail with his increasing devotion to human rights, protest and charity.

The event is traditionally a sellout of more than 3,000 – held at the Indiana Convention Center.  Tickets are $50 with tables $500 each and are available at www.indianablackexpo.com or at the IBE box office at 3145 N. Meridian St.  Those interested may call 317.925.2702.

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