"Sing Your Song," Susanne Rostock's documentary about the entertainer/activist Harry Belafonte, has been acclaimed for enlightening new movie-going generations about the scope of Belafonte's contributions to culture and society.

I recently asked Taylor Branch, the author of the Pulitzer-prize-winning trilogy "America in the King Years," whether Belafonte had ever made a point of recording the songs associated with the American Civil Rights Movement.

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"I don't believe so," Branch said. "He would sing them when he would show up at Movement events. He didn't record them like Joan Baez or Odetta or some other people – but they were known for for that more than anything. He was always expanding into different parts of his career. With his music, he wouldn't go straight full-bore into politics.

"But long before Paul Simon went to Africa, Harry went there, and recorded the music. He was always introducing the sounds of different cultures -- he brought Miriam Makeba to American audiences. He's the one who introduced her to Stokely Carmichael!" (You can hear a duet between Belafonte and Makeba by clicking play above -- the stills, obviously, have nothing to do with "Sing Your Song.")

Taylor Branch will interview Harry Belafonte after the closing night screening of "Sing Your Song". The screening starts 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Charles 1.

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