Jay-ZWith the current controversy surrounding high-end retail store Barneys and racial profiling allegations, one thing stands evident. Harry Belafonte was right about Jay-Z. In the midst of this controversy, fans have called on Jay-Z to end his partnership with Barneys, in which his new holiday fashion line is going to be sold. Jay-Z’s response has been a calculated public relations effort in which he negates any real responsibility to his default, “I’m doing it for charity” statement. Currently, Jay-Z is continuing his partnership with Barneys with his collection set to launch next week.

This “doing it for charity” response only further highlights Jay-Z’s disconnect with the masses that he often claims to represent. This notion of accepting racism in exchange for charity is downright laughable. If a charity is supposed to be helping people, why work with a store that appears to marginalize his own fan base due to class and race perceptions. Now, Jay-Z claims he’s being demonized for his partnership with Barneys. He’s not being demonized. He’s being realized.

This is where Harry Belafonte comes in. Months ago Belafonte called on Jay-Z to play a more active role in social movements and help to drive social change. Jay-Z’s response was to refer to the 86-year old civil rights icon as “boy.” Jay-Z went on to state that due to his mega star status, his very presence was “charity.”

Harry Belafonte’s critiques were not superfluous statements. They were part of an insightful analysis of how star power can be used to affect societal movements. With over 50 years of civil rights activism, Belafonte can spot both genuine and superficial involvement. The latter, is what Jay-Z is often engaged in. This superficial support of “the people” is laden with corporate driven interests.

For example, during the height of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, Jay-Z decided to make a t-shirt line based on slogans from the movement. His plans changed, once Occupy Wall Street activists asked if he would share the profits. The idea of having to share the profits (which would have helped provide much needed financial support to activists) was unthinkable to the hip-hop mogul.

Then, there’s the controversy that surrounded 2010 tax records from The Shawn Carter Scholarship Fund. During that year he reportedly earned, over $63 million but only donated roughly $6,000 to his own charity. This is not a normal practice for charity founders, who often provide a large portion of their charities’ financial costs. Out of all donors, Jay-Z reportedly gave the lowest donation to his own cause.

Finally, there is the N*ggas in Paris fiasco in which his friend Gwyneth Paltrow, decided to tweet the title of the song after attending his concert. This resulted in Twitter backlash over her usage of the term. Jay-Z, who is an enthusiastic advocate for the usage of the N-word, was silent on the controversy. Having millions among his fan base embrace the N-word is a part of his crossover hood status appeal that provides further economic security.

According to the Recording Industry Association of America, in 2012 White/Caucasian audiences represented 79% of music buys, 81% of CD buyers and 80% of digital buyers. So don’t expect Jay-Z to engage in any significant dialogue with fans about using the word. With him it’s the same old, “people give words power” and “this is the least racist generation” excuse. It’s not economically feasible for him or any other corporately invested hip-hop artist to do anymore than brush off the issue. Yet this is someone people expect to fully grasp or care about race related issues?

The African American community  has to get beyond this belief that just because someone from our community attains fame or wealth, that they’re somehow intellectually superior, a role model and someone to be admired. The same can be said for Russell Simmons with his Rush Card, Blood Diamond, and Harriet Tubman controversies. And Kanye West, who often laments about racism but strives to uphold the same materialistic values that help drive economic disparities. Do you really expect any of them to be deeply invested in activism against a classist system from which they benefit?

Harry Belafonte was right. Jay-Z isn’t genuinely standing up against racism or classism because this activism may affect profit margin (something he learned while selling crack).

JamAllen2-nb-smallJessica Ann Mitchell is the founder of OurLegaci.com & BlackBloggersConnect.com. To reach JAM, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com.

Follow OurLegaci on Facebook at Facebook.com/OurLegaci.

792 thoughts on “Harry Belafonte Was Right About Jay-Z

  1. I know, I know like many have said, Jay Z is merely a rapper and basically has no obligation to anyone but himself and his family but don’t you just wonder what if he and many other black folks of prominence woke up one day and have a moment of clarity (kind of like Scrooge) and decide to use his immense wealth for the good of the people who got him there. Tupac was a rapper also but I’m pretty sure that if he were alive he’d either be in politics or would have become a civil rights leader.

    1. Yeah…and if DMX was still alive, he’d be a preacher. (sarc) I think a lot of these folks already had their moments of clarity, which led to their success. The truth is that this isn’t Belafonte’s era anymore. The game has changed.

      1. So wrong, the biggest lie you can tell yourself. If that was the case then cops would not be killing kids. Crack dealers would not be on the corner still since 88 REGAN. IF things were different the subject would not be the same since the 80’s then CRACKSPOT, today TRAPHOUSE. You better stay in line & continue to pump that poison and never that conscious or we will take back everything we gave you. WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!! WE WILL NOT VOTE SO HOW HAS THINGS CHANGE FOR THE GOOD!!!

      2. There are choices in this world…and there are cultures. Nobody would stand for what could be done to bring some of those things to an end. It’s gotta stop though. Blaming Jay Z for not preaching to Barney’s or putting limitations on his individual success isn’t going to bring it to an end. Jay Z is not THAT large. If he ever got Warren Buffet large, where his words and movements can faithfully influence global markets, then we could start to have this conversation.

      3. This is definitely the SAME game. It is simply played differently. Belafonte and other civil rights activists were just as correct today as they were back then. Oppression is still here, just that some black like (cough JZ) have joined the oppression of those who’re already disadvantaged.

      4. That’s the same old rhetoric that says that black people in positions of authority are working for the man…sellouts…like cops…overseer…officer. No-win situation or argument. There’s an achievable economic level in today’s world that did not exist in Belafonte’s era. That level isn’t color blind, but money talks. Jay Z is on the path to that level. Magic Johnson is on the path to that level. Oprah is on the path to that level. None of them are there yet. They are still vulnerable to race politics. When you are at that level, people can’t even see what you own…you’re everywhere, and not just at Barney’s or a headphone company.

      5. Wrong the game never changes. Where have you been? Heard of Ferguson, Trayvon Martin, black poverty levels historically high, minority voting rights threatened, overcrowded prisons full of black men in a new version of slavery and servitude, more black men in prison or tied to the system than in college, affirmative action gutted, explosion of single parent households especially among blacks. The list goes on and on. The moment of clarity I speak of is reaching back, giving back not just an individual’s personal gains and success. A million dollars could pay for college for almost fifty black students while Dr. Dre gave 20 million to USC, a school that receives billions in endowments while black enrollment diminishes as HBCUs struggle. Wake up black people, come out of the wilderness,

      6. You’re implying that every black person’s success is defined by his effectiveness at magically erasing all of these behaviors and outcomes…no matter what he accomplishes as a human being. That’s exactly how some have justified even denying President Obama the respect due to the President the United States. I have always said that the goal of the President’s opposition wasn’t to get his job, but to deny him the satisfaction of legitimate authority, respect, and the symbolic representation of black people.

        It’s going to be a never-ending cycle until the slave mentality dies. If a black man is conditioned and encouraged to believe that he’s standing on the corner selling drugs…or robbing and shooting other black people because the white man is forcing his hand or because Dr Dre gave money to the wrong school, that’s an irresponsible slave mentality.

      7. The game hasn’t changed just the players and people who think that it’s ok to not effect change and not to have any unity will always be just pawns in the game.

      8. Unity only when a successful black person is delivering the same old slave mentality messages. There’s a reason why Jesse Jackson got caught saying he wanted to castrate Barack Obama. It was because he felt Obama was going to mess up his money. Same reason that Cornell West became so enraged and against Barack Obama…besides not getting Inauguration tickets. They dog him even while the hard right accuses him of wealth redistribution and catering to blacks. You want to attack somebody prominent, you should have been going after the likes of Jesse Jackson, Tavis Smiley, Cornell West. AL Sharpton was the only one of their kind to have Obama’s back.

      9. Yeah…DMX is not dead, and he did not become a preacher. Similarly, it shouldn’t be asserted that Pac would have become a civil rights activist or leader if he’d lived. Both of them had actions that didn’t match their words when they were in their primes.

      10. You’re the who brought DMX into the discussion and also made the erroneous statement that the man is dead. As far as Tupac, he wasn’t perfect, no one is but there was a level of social consciousness in him that extended beyond his rap lyrics. Based on some his deeds and comments beyond the music I postulated that he might have grown to be something more than a rapper and eventually might have ascended to a position of leadership in the ongoing civil rights movement and the call for justice. Of course, he had an advantage that people like Carter didn’t have with his parents who were once part of the Black Panther Party and who instilled a sense of awareness in him.

      11. The “game” of powers have not changed. Those in charge would want you to believe that so that they can continue in their disparaging ways. What has changed is the eyes and conscious of the masses, you included. You feel powerless because of a lack of strong leadership. If there was a stronger voice, you’d speak differently. But because you believe in the “hova hype” or baller status, you’ve missed the bigger picture. It’s not too late to open your eyes. HB was talking about you as well. May as well call you Jigga too.

      12. correct. Neither Mr. Belafonte nor Sister Mitchell are correct in their poorly informed assessment.

      13. Wrong. Racism, poverty, and sexism are very much alive today as they were during “Belafonte’s era.” Sadly, these problems don’t go out of style or disappear from one generation to the next. What you are saying is a complete falsehood and cop-out. In addition to the fact that I don’t consider the type of so-called music that Jay Z performs as artistic or good in any way, I also object to the materialism and greed that seems to drive him and his ilk. Namely, other rappers or hip-hop performers who use subjects like racism or police brutality in their music to sell millions of CD’s, but turn around and hypocritically live in mansions and make business deals with dubious corporations and businesses like Barney’s, as Jay Z does. It’s part of doublespeak. The game hasn’t changed in the least and anyone who thinks that it has is living in a fool’s paradise.

      14. Belafonte’s era or not thethe the essence of the struggle remains the same to this day,all it takes is a coon not realise that!!!

      15. You discount Mr. Belafonte and dismiss him as part of a bygone era. This kind of thinking will keep us dying in the streets as cops murder us as unarmed men. In many ways it’s worst today but I imagine there are some who think that black people are better off today because of integration. Today’s new form of slavery, segregation and oppression calls for even stronger action than what occurred in the 60’s and earlier and the lessons that Mr. Belafonte is trying to teach are dismissed because some today think that what worked in the past won’t work today. It was Mr. Belafonte’s era that ended segregation, pushed for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, ended LEGAL segregation in housing, education and employment. If you don’t think that anything can be learned from the past then keep singing zippa dee do da, my brother. You might get shot just reaching for your driver’s license. A new kind of activism might be needed but it starts with the lessons learned from the past.

      16. The struggle hasn’t, unfortunately. In Belafonte’s era, artists of his stature used their status as a platform to speak out AGAINST society’s injustice. They used their money to help out, rather than seeking to profit from adverse situations. I’m not mad at Jay Z’s hustle; but that’s what it is–nothing more. He’s about HIM….too bad it’s not still “Belafonte’s era”, because at least then, people understood that WE had to help US .

      17. Lean6, you speak intelligently, yet apolitically at the same time. ANYONE who has that amount of reach over his entire demographic and the mainstream at the same time, is going to either be used to dismantle racial progress or further it. That’s why we shouldn’t hold Jay Z’s words as law. Litmus test – if Donald Trump told you “You know what’s more important than throwing money in a strip club? Credit”, and said that’s why black Americans don’t have progress, would you be offended?

      18. No, the game is the same; the players are different. While I do not expect the rich and famous/infamous to join the fight with the rest of us (I got mine, you get yours), it would be nice if they did. This is just one of the reasons Black Americans still struggle in this country our ancestors helped to build.

      19. Nothing has changed in the world of truth and civility. The ‘game’ you’re talking about (the music industry,) has definitely changed when a confessed crack dealer without any knowledge of what a ‘note’ is, or how to stay inside of the meter with his 50 vocabulary can even be given the time of day.

      20. Unless I missed the report, DMX IS alive. Re Harry Belafonte, he was first married to beautiful Marguerite. They had two beautiful children, a boy and a girl. He divorced her. He dated soap actress Lauren Holley, a very light complected Black woman. I read her book. She thought they would get married. In the book it was stated that he said that A black woman couldn’t do nothing for him. He married a white women. If these words are actually fact, so much for Harry as far as I’m concerned. This goes back to the 1960s.

    2. Tupac was a civil rights leader! He just like NWA and Public Enemy told us what was going on. They had the courage to take the platform and speak! I listened!

      1. I agree with PE, but not NWA. They brought something to light, but that’s about it. They also exploited it. Ice Cube did take it a step further though when he went solo. The other dudes had statutory rape all over their second album.

      1. Please spare me this nonsense. Harry Belafonte has been married to thee different White woman I could care less of what he thinks of Jay Z. He is and has always been a radical integrationist. He chose what he chose to do with his career and Jay is choosing his path not Harry’s.

    3. My thoughts exactly ! PAC would frown soon cats like JZ . If he is doing nothing to help the people. He should be held accountable for it . PAC would have held him accountable.

    4. I beg to differ, if everyone, dropped pants and walking the street, on 5 inch high heels, flowing (false hair) down their backs, unconscious Euro-educated professionals, and unthinking consumers, did their share in being productive people, and realizing that every effort is going to need money, we might succeed. If every African-in-America gave one or more dollars to an organization, (Reparations hopefully) that is working toward getting Africans sovereignty, we could get this country to treat us fairly. What I am talking about is unity and consciousness. I know, I know, I’m dreaming again.

  2. First off let him Kanye and all others get to the billionare status lets not break our own down b4 they get enough money to control everything they do!!! The big picture is their our next black billionares let them get real money (a white man would say) then see.. they still depend on others to make money so help build Jay z Puffy 50cent Birdman Kanye Dr. Dre so they in that top 5% of richest usa people so we can have control dont let the white man bait us to turn on our brothers because they all will change somthing just wait and thats when they will get there real power and money to back our mission…. K

    1. But some of these that you mentioned, JZ, Kanye, could care less about what happens in the black community overall. Their behavior very much resembles the whites who have been oppressive to blacks, only its worst because they are black. Kanye and JZ getting more money does NOT – I repeat: Does NOT give blacks more control, it gives THEM, ONLY THEM control as individuals. JZ’s wealth is not helping 10 minorities outside of his own family.

      1. Right! People worship these guys and i honestly don’t get it. They don’t care about the masses, they care about thselves. Listen to their music people, like they say it themselves.

      2. I don`t see nothing wrong with that,just because a few Blacks make it out of poverty, let us not try and hold them accountable for the Black struggle. If they care less now what does it matter. I`m pretty sure they cared when they was in poverty or living in low income areas,even when they did not want to care. They cared enough to make it out of that environment and get their families out. I think that`s enough accountability in it`s self, surely they have employed and helped families along the way. Let us not get their success in business mixed up into political movements of Governments.If they chose to speak or do something about social problems in the Urban areas in their work,then that`s great, if not them making it out is enough to let any kid in poverty know,it can be done.

    2. Are you serious????? Jim Brown, Harry Belafonte, Muhammad Ali, Bill Russell, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and many others did NOT have to reach “billionaire status” to affect change in Amerikkka. What the hell are you folks talking about?

      Unlike today’s “soft” athletes and entertainers, the aforementioned courageous brothers that I referenced had guts. They were intuitive enough to form alliances with Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and so many other influential non-black people. Hell, Belafonte and company were shrewd enough to recruit the likes of Charlton Heston to support the cause for social change. Why are you people giving “Lay Z” a pass???

      I’m not trying to hear any of this happy horse crap about “let them attain billionaire status first.” WTF? You are making sorry a– excuses for these money drunk sluggards. GTFOH!

      As someone cited earlier, why would Dr. Dre drop a serious grip on USC? They have some of the richest alumnus on the planet, and this fool ignores HBC’s? Please wake up people. Mr. Belafonte and the other OG’s that I mentioned had/have heart. Kobe, Jay Z, Kanye, and a host of the other so-called superstars need to step up for real!

      Ali, Sydney Poitier, Jim Brown, and the other OG’s didn’t have anywhere near the salaries and endorsement money that today’s athletes and entertainers make. Yet, they were willing to put their all on the line to uplift the lot of black people. Today’s jack off’s, I mean athletes like to chase all the tail they can catch, play video games to death, buy countless cars that are the equivalent of purchasing nice homes, and constantly try to one up each other to no end.

      The bottom line is this, most of today’s “stars” are pretty much immature little boys steeped in foolishness! Please get up, stand up!

  3. I don’t understand this concept of having to wait til a certain economic level to push fairness and justice. Sounds like a huge cop out. If this is the majority viewpoint of black America, then things really have changed. You don’t have to be rich to be an activist. You don’t have to be rich to do the right thing.
    Wake up.

    1. I don’t think the intent of the article was to require only the rich to push for fairness and justice, but all of us need to participate in the struggle for fairness. It was pointing out that the struggle is forgotten by many of us who reach the pinnacle of success. White Supremacy is invested with the support of the Billionaire Kocks brothers, and Rupert Murdock, and thousands of others, including every class of white racist? We are awake, and not dreaming when we say that all of us should be invested in the struggle.


      1. You are seriously mistaken Chaz. Get back into the old school books, and not this revisionist history crap regarding Dr. King. I don’t know where you received your information about Dr. King clocking mad dollars, but that thinking is severely flawed, because that what you stated is NOT true.

      2. Nicolas Jackson, Chaz’ statement was sarcastic..he knows MLK had limited funds. His point is that he caused GREAT change with limited funds!! Christopher MLK did not receive SERIOUS donations! The point is that Jay or Kanye, or Diddy have each individually amassed more capitol than any of those aforementioned celebrities in their entire careers, who still caused significant change. Sadly, however they have individually done LESS to cause significant change. It is evident that their priorities lie elsewhere. It really is just that simple!!

  5. I have a problem with a person or group telling a black person how, when and what to do. Help your people by ending this deal or you must repeat this line or criticizing the amount of his charity check. No! Stop! Its some suspect behavior in my book. Exactly what are the people that are pointing toward Jay Z doing… jack squat. Black folks need all types of black people from the bottom to the top doing things to improve our collective plight. We need artists, the businessman, the city worker, those in the hood, those on the farm.. we need each of us to do as much as possible in the name of freedom. If somebody isn’t doing anything or being a proud Negropean don’t call them out, focus and work with those who are positive. Don’t waste that precious energy. I think if your heart is in the right place you’d know these common sense basics. #AfricanAmericanWomenMatters

    1. Thank you for saying that Lisa Warner. If these people feel so passionate about fixing problems in the black community, they should just donate their own time and money to organizations that effectively combat these issues.

      1. You’re assuming that we don’t. It takes a village. There are thousands of us out here who donate our time and money to those we regard as less fortunate. Organizations like Hosea Feed the Hungry, Habitat for Humanity and various and countless homeless shelters, youth organizations and educational programs do not exist because government or corporations fund them exclusively. Many of us are volunteers and soldiers who devote time and whatever modest funds we can take away from our families to help our people in need. Are you doing your part? Do you care? Imagine if all the black millionaires in sports and entertainment joined in, not just with money but their time other those occasional photo ops when they’re handing out turkeys on Thanksgiving Day. Imagine if they would sacrifice just one Bentley out of the dozens of cars they own or instead of owning a 25 million dollar home buy a 20 million dollar one and donate the 5 million to help set up an educational foundation that could send 50 deserving kids to college. But in our world of greedy, self-centered materialism it’s about, “I got mine and I don’t care about you. I’m no role model and I don’t owe you people nothing.” Sad commentary.

      2. I am doing my part. I do care. I do have my own not for profit organization. I do donate my time and money to the institutions that help me get where I am today. And I am not a wealthy individual by any means.

        Now that I answered your questions, let’s address “assumptions.” I don’t assume that “we” don’t donate time and money; I assume that “you” don’t. “You,” as in people who are concern about how another person spends their money and their time. However, you do engage in charity according to your comment, so I don’t understand why it’s any of your business what another person do with their time and money.

        Should other people, who didn’t place money in your checking account, have any opinion on what comes out your checking account? What is this fascination with being so opinionated about black athletes and black entertainers personal finances? Are these the only industries where black people have money? Do you know the percentage of black people in sports and entertainment that donate their time and money versus the amount that don’t? Where are you getting your information from to come to these conclusions?

      3. I’m a lawyer and former sports and entertainment attorney. I’ve always pushed giving back as part of my advice and counsel to my clients. I see nothing wrong with people of means. particularly those who maintain high profile positions in our society, to give back and not just with money but their time, as well. The tax system allows tax breaks for some who do and when you are taxed in the 40% bracket I advise that the person take full advantage of the charitable deductions allowed by law. Unfortunately, I can’t force my clients to follow my advice. Some did and some didn’t. Some chose to foolishly waste money on material items, i.e. cars and jewelry and are broke today. I’ve had formerly well heeled clients reach out to me for money. As far as being concerned about what people do with their money, that’s my right and if I have an opportunity to get in someone’s ear with the hope that they’ll listen then it’s better than being silent or giving my tacit approval by my own inaction. It’s a global village. It’s too bad that people like you do not agree. Abolitionists like Frederick Douglas could have stepped back and said, “Hey, I’m free and I live well so the hell with the rest of them.” But he didn’t.

  6. Real wealth is not caught up in record sells, tv contacts nor any of that superficial stuff. Therefore they will never control anything. They must first invest into land, precious metals, and people to develop educated, conscious self aware folk and politicians and community leaders. But their money goes into developing their bank accounts not their people.

  7. this music that is being played right now does nothing to help the black culture. it is horrifyingly downgrading and makes the race situation even worse. just listen to the lyrics and look at where they’re going-right into the brain. We all know music is very powerful. If someone is listening to jayz 4 hours a day, that can be very destructive. change/dont support the music and you will see a change in black culture. i hate to say any person, white,black,yellow,purple go through suffering.

    we are all one and one person effects everybody. we see that often in todays society. if you want to change the results, look at the root cause. i firmly believe this music is one of the root causes.

  8. I would not be the man I am today if I hadn’t borrowed bread, washing powder, ran errands and did chores from and for my neighbors. I learned compassion and accountability at a very young age. Was I happy about my family’s status in the neighborhood? No. Was I sometimes embarrassed to ask for help? Yes of course. But my neighbors never made me feel that way. They showed our family nothing but love and a genuine willingness to help. Something that seems to be talked about but not practiced much anymore in today’s society.
    If it is true that it takes a village then it is imperative that we hold each other accountable.

    Barack Obama. BEFORE he was president he inspired millions of people to take action and be involved in the political process. He realized he had a platform and an opportunity reflect change and whether he actually won or not, he knew that if he could get young minorities involved in the process it would impact our future.
    The president and Jay Z have one thing in common and it ain’t money.
    A VOICE.
    it doesn’t take money to inspire our youth, hold a door open for your fellow man, give up your seat to our elderly, carry a grocery bag or run an errand for a neighbor. Watch your language when there are children or our elderly within earshot of your conversations, say please, thank you, you’re welcome, or just plain be polite.

    Our children need us, and desperately want our attention and guidance.
    This is evident in the way they latch on to everything Nikki Minaj, Young Thug and others like them say and do. You know the saying “it starts in the home” ? Well it does, but that doesn’t let Jay Z or anyone else like them off the hook completely.
    They also have to be held accountable to some degree. but before we hang them out to dry we have to have our own house in order.
    Getting back to raising our kids as a community would be a great start.

    Just my two cents and by no means scientific.

    1. Yours is probably the most lucid, thoughtful and accurate point of all the hundreds who have commented on the subject. Too many here have short memories or somehow believe they’ve ascended to a level where they live in a so-called post-racial society. We all have a responsibility to give back, to look back from the highest to the lowest. It’s the only way we can progress as a people. After all, white people have acted collectively to oppress and enslave us so why shouldn’t we act together to free ourselves and to lift us up as a people.

      1. As far as I’m concerned all of your comments have been extremely lucid Mr. Hines. Sonny kicked it real hard, but your commentary has been very refreshing too.

        Like me, you’re probably from the old school, and what a great school it was/is!

        Old school OG’s know a great deal about sacrificing, mentoring, and black pride. After all, we grew up with James Brown owning radio station W.E.B.B. in Baltimore, MD. (those call letters stood for, “We Enjoy Being Black”). Can you dig it? JB gave back big time. He was always of service to black people. He even gave us one of the greatest black anthems of all time – “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud.” What that song did for my generation was amazing!

        The same goes for Marvin Gaye, and his activism with his incredible masterpiece, “What’s Going On?” After 43 years, that LP is still relevant today. IMHO, “What’s Going On?” is the greatest LP ever recorded.

        There were countless athletes and entertainers engaged in the struggle for equality during my coming of age. I can’t even fathom what some of these folks on this thread are talking about regarding “getting billions” before they get involved in the cause. I can’t relate to that at all. As Huey, Bobby, and Eldridge used to say, “We must seize the time!” And that time is now! We need everyone to step up – period.

        Too much blood has been shed for us to remain in this mediocre, hypnotic state. So, my message to “Lay Z” and the rest of the money drunk drones is this, please wake up, and do something to advance the cause of black people!

        Belafonte and his crew were visible, vocal, and in motion. They were not afraid like some of these sissies today. And back then, it was extremely dangerous to be visible, vocal, and mobilizing the masses.

      2. All I can say is “well said”. Maybe one day they’ll all wake up. Too bad it takes something like the murders of young black men like in Ferguson or with Trayvon for young people to realize that the more things change the more they stay the same. I hope someone will read your post and re-think and then think. Peace brother.

  9. money talks bulls*** walks and that’s what Jay Z is all about money money money he doesn’t give a damn about anything else or none of you or us for that matter.

  10. Well,Mr. Belafonte was SPOT ON re. “Dr. Dre”,a nasty,stupid,cooning thug and scumbag who’d be back in prison (where he likely belongs) withour (c)rap.(C)rap,likely 95% of TV and radio,is chock-full of dummies looking to make their mark in the
    hip-hot game.

  11. Meh, he has spoken out against mass incarceration , especially the evil that befallen kalief browder and even produced the series on pbs. That directly speaks to systematic racism, well at least one part of it. Elder Belafonte pushed him to become more active.

    This new album, 4:44 speaks to blacks investing for themselves which in turn will build back the community. Jay z will mostly come from an economic position, maybe a more individual in hopes of affecting the whole but I ain’t gonna knock him for that. All of us have abilities, talents–unique to us that are need to build our community and combat systematic racism so to me this is wasted energy to target Jay on what he knows best. He is doing this on his end so others should start and continue other avenues at the same time.

    None are mutually exclusive to each other.

    That article is off the mark, divisive, and unnecessary in my opinion. Instead someone should had written a piece on Jay and others tackling economics and other blacks using other venues (history, health, mental health, farming, education, etc) and maybe, just maybe, talks in farming a council and implement ideas regardless of government assistance.

    *i know the brother has issues with the N word in songs and past songs demanding siestas but at this time to tear down our own who is bring knowledge and addresses legit concerns, to be nice we aren’t seeing the forest before the trees.

  12. IT IS WHAT IT IS because itzallconnected.

    Sexism, racism, and colorism are pre-programmed, mental, illnesses founded, and grounded, in extremely low self-esteem. Why do “men” who beat, rape, murder, slander, abandon, and deny the beauty of the same richly melanated [black] women who birthed, and loved, them expect to be supported by The Divine Mother? When will the majority of black “men” accept “response-abillity” for their poor choices?

    The average melanated [black] male suffers with, and from, at least 2 of the above three. The average melanated [black] male feeds his ego by critiquing the average melanated [black] woman’s attempt to attract him with her weak imitation of a “white woman.” Why would a self-aware, fully conscious, melanated [black] woman take that home and put it in her bed? Why/How should a black woman worship the penis that only she can make? The power resides within she, who makes the penis; not within he, who must be taught what to do with that penis, by a woman starting with toilet training.

    The energy put into the world by all of us comes home to all of us–in all ways–every day–for always. Integrity is what holds your life, and your ass, together. Where there is no integrity there is no need for dignity. Back in the day, the original understanding of “hoe, and spade”, included helping The White Man dig a deeper hole. You take on the karma of your mate. Sadly, in spite of decades of warnings called death, and castration, many of “the brothers” are now wedlocked to a very deep hole.

    “Forgive the black man everything, except the white woman.” – The (Once) Honorable Elijah Muhammad

    At the end of The Last Daze, both heads on the average black male will hang in shame. Perhaps, Jesus is saving them for last. 🤔

  13. I hear all sides, but I also wish to caution that some could also come after Harry Belafonte. We should call out those amongst us with voices who either fail to use them or use them improperly, but we must also be tempered and measured in doing so. Some could ask why Harry Belafonte is any different from Jay-Z vis a vis proactive and unsullied advocacy of equality, when he didn’t find a black woman to be his equal to marry. Some…not me…some. Before you get knickers in a bunch and laughably righteously indignant and offended, remember, the same principle of someone’s actions not living up to some ideal set for them or they themselves have purported to abide by, applies where someone deals with Barneys, or has a lifetime spouse who is not of their own. IJS…

  14. Why is Jay a focus for Belafonte? Why is Belafonte trying to set the standard for an individual’c contribution to society? Doe she know everything Jay does to help his fellow man? Is Belafonte the guy to judge if its enough? Why? If erked why doesn’t Belafonte list everyone who he feels is not up to the standards he seems to have set. Its hypocritical, its judgemental. Mr Belafonte, sit down “boy”

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