Harry Belafonte has had a profound impact on black culture and activism. He is a multitalented artist, and one of the earliest voices and most inspiring leaders of the Civil Rights Movement.
As an artist in the 1950s and 1960s, he tore down barriers for other minority actors, and as an activist, he worked alongside, and was profoundly influenced by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fighting for the civil rights of Africans and African Americans for decades. Together, they marched in Selma and in the 1963 March on Washington.
Since then, Harry served as the cultural advisor for the Peace Corps, was a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and recently, he founded SANKOFA – a social justice organization that utilizes the power of culture and celebrity in partnership with activism. It’s a space for artists to contribute their talents to build awareness and confront the issues that negatively impact marginalized communities.
Harry’s deep and inspiring dedication to social justice has had such a meaningful influence on Black culture, the Harlem branch of The New York Public Library was recently renamed in his honor to be the “Harry Belafonte 115th Street Library.”
To find out even more about Harry’s extraordinary life as both a true pioneer in the arts and as an activist for over 70 years, click on the link below.
Harry has been a dear friend, fellow activist, and influential mentor to Kenneth Cole and Maria Cuomo Cole for many years. Their personal values, and those of our brand, have always been aligned.
Now, in partnership with The New York Public Library, we’re proud to honor Harry by bringing to you The Harry Belafonte Black Liberation Speaker Series at LIVE from NYPL.
THE HARRY BELAFONTE BLACK LIBERATION SPEAKER SERIES
LIVE from NYPL
By bringing together influential thought-leaders around the issues of racism and equality, we hope to advance and enrich Black culture and Harry’s mission to provide open, free, and equal access to education and opportunity.
In the initial series, there will be five conversations between accomplished thinkers and scholars from the worlds of activism, journalism, literature, poetry, and entertainment.
Our Next Event
DONNA HYLTON, YESEF SALAAM, AND SHAKA SENGHOR IN CONVERSATION WITH GINA BELAFONTE
The authors and activists discuss race, justice and reforming criminal justice, prisons, and policing.
Learn more about the speakers
The event is free but PLEASE REGISTER HERE
Future events and registration details will be announced closer to their release dates. To be the first to know, sign up for our mailing list
If you missed our past events in the series
WATCH THEM HERE
“MALCOLM X, THE FACTS AND FICTIONS.”
A conversation inspired by the new biography The Dead Are Arising: The Life of Malcolm X, by Les Payne and Tamara Payne.
Tamara Payne x Reverend Calvin Butts
Introduced by Kevin Young, Director of the Schomburg Center, Poet, and Editor
About Tamara Payne
About Reverend Calvin Butts
About Kevin Young
RAVEN LEILANI & KILEY REID IN CONVERSATION
Join Raven Leilani, author of Luster, and 2020 Young Lions Fiction Award nominee Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age, for an in-depth discussion on the politics of writing and their bestselling debut novels.
BRYAN WASHINGTON & VINSON CUNNINGHAM IN CONVERSATION
Bryan Washington, the winner of the Library's 2020 Young Lions Fiction Award discusses the complications of love, vulnerability, alienation, family, and separation with The New Yorker staff writer Vinson Cunningham.
VALARIE KAUR AND RASHAD ROBINSON IN CONVERSATION WITH GINA BELAFONTE
At the tail end of a shocking month and on the heels of a historic inauguration, the celebrated activists discuss race, justice, and the revolutionary love needed for a better tomorrow.
AMBER RUFFIN AND LACEY LAMAR IN CONVERSATION WITH ALISON STEWART
Amber Ruffin, a Late Night with Seth Meyers writer and host of Peacock's The Amber Ruffin Show, and her sister Lacey Lamar tell crazy stories about racism.
CHARLES BLOW IN CONVERSATION WITH HILTON ALS
The acclaimed columnist and political commentator delivers his manifesto, a call to action for Black Americans to amass political power and fight white supremacy.
YOU MADE A PURCHASE, WE MADE AN IMPACT.
Between October 2020 and February 2021, we donated a percentage of the net sales on KennethCole.com to The New York Public Library in support of The Harry Belafonte Black Liberation Speaker Series.