Harry Belafonte, Patriot

From the outset of his recording career, Harry Belafonte took a stand. He refused to appear in the segregated South, vocally and financially supported Martin Luther King Jr., and got blacklisted for his trouble. The handsome, Harlem-born World War II vet who gave us that catchy "Banana Boat Song" went on to finance the Freedom Rides and help organize the March on Washington in 1963. Since then, he has received numerous humanitarian awards, particularly for his work in Africa, but his unrelenting vocal opposition to U.S. foreign policy — from Cuba to Grenada to Iraq — still really gets under people's skin. (Condoleezza Rice doth protest too much, we think.) Last year, the AARP publicly denounced its recent Impact Award recipient after he called President Bush a liar and a terrorist.

In celebration of Bill of Rights Day, the ACLU of Northern California honors Belafonte with a civil liberties award and a microphone. We hope he'll give Hillary Clinton another reason to avoid being photographed with him.
Sun., Dec. 9, 1:30 p.m., 2007

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