“Poverty was my mother’s midwife … but she found a way to bring us a sense of purpose and taught us how to be valiant in the face of oppression.”
Harry Belafonte had a special connection with West Virginia which may have been prompted by his own experience with poverty but was particularly connected with his eldest daughter’s calling to West Virginia.
Adrienne Belafonte Biesemeyer graduated from West Virginia State University with a Master’s Degree in Community Counseling from WV Graduate College/Marshall University advanced studies.
After the graduation ceremony at WVSU, I took a picture with him, only to discover that the photographer had no film in the camera.
Belafonte marched with Dr. King and engaged fellow actors such as Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando, and others who raised money to resource the March on Washington. He walked with Dr. King but chartered his own path to greatness with the integrity of purpose, passion for justice, and a zeal for service in time, on time, and beyond time.
Harry Belafonte was a legendary actor, artist, entrepreneur, and activist who bent history and will be honored by generations yet unborn.
Rev. Ron English is President of the Charleston WV Branch NAACP
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