From Harry to Barry: yes we can
By a delightful coincidence, Barack Obama's inauguration address in the US was followed in this country by a TV screening of a fascinating documentary, Sing Your Song, about the life of Harry Belafonte.
Belafonte used his good looks (“He decided to tighten the pants a little and open that shirt”) and singing and acting talent to break racial barriers in US entertainment, and was a genuine activist in the civil rights movement, unlike most contemporary stars who think that looking serious in a refugee camp is a contribution to changing the world.
What made the screening so timely were not just the newsreel shots of white violence and bigotry in Mississippi or Alabama, but the revealing show biz illustrations of the racial hysteria of the time - such as the row that erupted when white British singer Petula Clark placed her hand on his arm during a duet on TV.
Extraordinary to watch the clip on the day a black president began his second term of office.
Yes we can.
* Global justice TV and radio listings
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