Jamaica pays tribute to Belafonte
Kingston – Jamaica on Tuesday paid tribute to the United States civil rights activist and humanitarian, Harry Belafonte, who has died of congestive heart failure at his New York home.
Both Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Opposition Leader Mark Golding said the 96-year-old Belafonte, who was of Jamaican parentage, was a treasured icon.
“Representing the best of our culture and values, his music and activism touched the hearts and minds of people globally. Harry Belafonte was not only a talented artiste but also a fearless activist who dedicated his life to the struggle for civil rights and social justice,” Holness said of Belafonte, who was bestowed with the Order of Merit (OM) for his outstanding contribution to culture in 2018.
Holness said Belafonte, a singer, actor, and activist who used his talent and platform to promote social justice and equality, was a trailblazer who paved the way for generations of artistes and activists to come and his legacy will live on.
Golding hailed Belafonte as a tireless advocate for civil rights and a staunch opponent of racism, inequality, and oppression.
“His contributions to the fight against Apartheid in South Africa and his advocacy for the rights of the marginalised will forever be remembered. Rest in Peace to a true son of Jamaica.
“We join with all Jamaicans, and the world, in mourning the passing of this extraordinary son of the soil, and celebrating his remarkable life and legacy. Harry Belafonte was a true Jamaican icon, whose contributions to music, film, and social justice will continue to inspire generations to come. Rest in peace, Harry Belafonte, your music, activism and Jamaican spirit will live on forever,” the Opposition Leader added.