Who are Harry Belafonte’s Parents?
Melvine Belafonte and Harold George Belafonte Sr. were Harry Belafonte’s parents, of Jamaican descent who were immigrants who arrived in the US in the early 1900s.
They had many difficulties when they first arrived in a nation that was sometimes unfriendly to immigrants and people of color, but they persisted and struggled to support their families.
Melvine Belafonte was a seamstress and housewife who put in a lot of overtime to make ends meet. She was a devoted Christian who instilled in her son a strong sense of morality and a dedication to giving back to others. She also gave him early exposure to music and supported his love of singing and performing.
In order to provide for his family, Harold George Belafonte Sr. worked as a janitor and a cook. He was a tough but caring father who fostered a love of study in his kid and believed in the value of education. In addition, he instilled in Harry the virtue of perseverance and hard effort, which would benefit him in both his personal and professional life.
Melvine and Harold Sr. made sure their kid had access to literature and a quality education despite their modest resources. They enrolled him at a distinguished private school in New York City, where he flourished intellectually and found his acting and singing talents. They encouraged him to seek a career in entertainment and supported his aspirations.
Without his parents’ love and support, Harry Belafonte’s career as a performer, actor, and activist would not have been conceivable.
They provided him with the skills and morals he needed to flourish in a society that was frequently unfriendly to immigrants and people of color. They also cultivated in him a spirit of fortitude and a dedication to social justice, qualities that would later influence his life and work.
As immigrants and members of a marginalized community, Belafonte’s parents encountered numerous difficulties, yet they never wavered in their faith or their resolve to achieve.
They instilled in their kid a sense of pride in his Jamaican roots and an acceptance of his status as a Black man in the United States.
They also taught him how to make the most of his position and platform to impact the world for the better.
Belafonte had a close relationship with his parents throughout his life and paid tribute to them via his generosity and activism.
He established the Harry Belafonte 21st Century Library as a memorial to his mother, who instilled in him a passion of reading and education, at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem. Additionally, he sponsored groups that held significance for his parents, such as UNICEF and the NAACP.
In a world that was frequently unfriendly to immigrants and people of color, Melvine and Harold George Belafonte Sr. provided their son with the skills and principles he needed to thrive.
They gave him a feeling of fortitude and a dedication to social justice, qualities that would later influence his life and work. The love and support of Harry Belafonte’s parents, who toiled away to support their family and provide their son the greatest possible start in life, is evident in his success as a singer, actor, and activist.
At the age of 96, Belafonte passed away at home in Manhattan’s Upper West Side from congestive heart failure on April 25, 2023.