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My song: a memoir

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Harry Belafonte is not just one of the greatest entertainers of our time; he has led one of the great American lives of the last century. Now, this extraordinary icon tells us the story of that life, giving us its full breadth, letting us share in the struggles, the tragedies, and, most of all, the inspiring triumphs.
 
Belafonte grew up, poverty-ridden, in Harlem and Jamaica. His mother was a complex woman—caring but withdrawn, eternally angry and rarely satisfied. His father was distant and physically abusive. It was not an easy life, but it instilled in young Harry the hard-nosed toughness of the city and the resilient spirit of the Caribbean lifestyle. It also gave him the drive to make good and channel his anger into actions that were positive and life-affirming. His journey led to the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he encountered an onslaught of racism but also fell in love with the woman he eventually married. After the war he moved back to Harlem, where he drifted between odd jobs until he saw his first stage play—and found the life he wanted to lead. Theater opened up a whole new world, one that was artistic and political and made him realize that not only did he have a need to express himself, he had a lot to express.
 
He began as an actor—and has always thought of himself as such—but was quickly spotted in a musical, began a tentative nightclub career, and soon was on a meteoric rise to become one of the world’s most popular singers. Belafonte was never content to simply be an entertainer, however. Even at enormous personal cost, he could not shy away from activism. At first it was a question of personal dignity: breaking down racial barriers that had never been broken before, achieving an enduring popularity with both white and black audiences. Then his activism broadened to a lifelong, passionate involvement at the heart of the civil rights movement and countless other political and social causes. The sections on the rise of the civil rights movement are perhaps the most moving in the book: his close friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr.; his role as a conduit between Dr. King and the Kennedys; his up-close involvement with the demonstrations and awareness of the hatred and potential violence around him; his devastation at Dr. King’s death and his continuing fight for what he believes is right.
 
But My Song is far more than the history of a movement. It is a very personal look at the people in that movement and the world in which Belafonte has long moved. He has befriended many beloved and important figures in both entertainment and politics—Paul Robeson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sidney Poitier, John F. Kennedy, Marlon Brando, Robert Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Tony Bennett, Bill Clinton—and writes about them with the same exceptional candor with which he reveals himself on every page. This is a book that pulls no punches, and turns both a loving and critical eye on our country’s cultural past.
 
As both an artist and an activist, Belafonte has touched countless lives. With My Song, he has found yet another way to entertain and inspire us. It is an electrifying memoir from a remarkable man.

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ISBN:
9780307272263
9780307700483
9780739384602

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work IDd92dbfa7-830e-b4a8-b590-02db7b74b876
Grouping Titlemy song
Grouping Authorharry belafonte
Grouping Categorybook
Grouping LanguageEnglish (eng)
Last Grouping Update2024-06-25 08:33:51AM
Last Indexed2024-06-25 08:36:05AM

Solr Fields

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auth_author2
Shnayerson, Michael
Willis, Mirron, 1965-
author
Belafonte, Harry, 1927-
author2-role
Random House Audio Publishing
Shnayerson, Michael
Willis, Mirron,1965-
author_display
Belafonte, Harry
available_at_catalog
Belle Cooledge
Central
Southgate
detailed_location_catalog
Belle Cooledge
Central
Southgate
display_description
Harry Belafonte is not just one of the greatest entertainers of our time; he has led one of the great American lives of the last century. Now, this extraordinary icon tells us the story of that life, giving us its full breadth, letting us share in the struggles, the tragedies, and, most of all, the inspiring triumphs.
 
Belafonte grew up, poverty-ridden, in Harlem and Jamaica. His mother was a complex woman—caring but withdrawn, eternally angry and rarely satisfied. His father was distant and physically abusive. It was not an easy life, but it instilled in young Harry the hard-nosed toughness of the city and the resilient spirit of the Caribbean lifestyle. It also gave him the drive to make good and channel his anger into actions that were positive and life-affirming. His journey led to the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he encountered an onslaught of racism but also fell in love with the woman he eventually married. After the war he moved back to Harlem, where he drifted between odd jobs until he saw his first stage play—and found the life he wanted to lead. Theater opened up a whole new world, one that was artistic and political and made him realize that not only did he have a need to express himself, he had a lot to express.
 
He began as an actor—and has always thought of himself as such—but was quickly spotted in a musical, began a tentative nightclub career, and soon was on a meteoric rise to become one of the world’s most popular singers. Belafonte was never content to simply be an entertainer, however. Even at enormous personal cost, he could not shy away from activism. At first it was a question of personal dignity: breaking down racial barriers that had never been broken before, achieving an enduring popularity with both white and black audiences. Then his activism broadened to a lifelong, passionate involvement at the heart of the civil rights movement and countless other political and social causes. The sections on the rise of the civil rights movement are perhaps the most moving in the book: his close friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr.; his role as a conduit between Dr. King and the Kennedys; his up-close involvement with the demonstrations and awareness of the hatred and potential violence around him; his devastation at Dr. King’s death and his continuing fight for what he believes is right.
 
But My Song is far more than the history of a movement. It is a very personal look at the people in that movement and the world in which Belafonte has long moved. He has befriended many beloved and important figures in both entertainment and politics—Paul Robeson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Sidney Poitier, John F. Kennedy, Marlon Brando, Robert Kennedy, Nelson Mandela, Fidel Castro, Tony Bennett, Bill Clinton—and writes about them with the same exceptional candor with which he reveals himself on every page. This is a book that pulls no punches, and turns both a loving and critical eye on our country’s cultural past.
 
As both an artist and an activist, Belafonte has touched countless lives. With My Song, he has found yet another way to entertain and inspire us. It is an electrifying memoir from a remarkable man.
format_catalog
Book
CD Audiobook
eBook
format_category_catalog
Audio Books
Books
eBook
id
d92dbfa7-830e-b4a8-b590-02db7b74b876
isbn
9780307272263
9780307700483
9780739384602
itype_catalog
Adu CD/Spoken Word
Adult Book Non-Fiction
last_indexed
2024-06-25T15:36:05.527Z
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-1
literary_form
Non Fiction
literary_form_full
Non Fiction
local_callnumber_catalog
BIOGRAPHY Belafonte, H. 2011
CD BIOGRAPHY Belafonte, H. 2011
owning_library_catalog
Sacramento Public Library
owning_location_catalog
Belle Cooledge
Central
Southgate
primary_isbn
9780307272263
publishDate
2011
publisher
Alfred A. Knopf
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Random House Audio
recordtype
grouped_work
subject_facet
Belafonte, Harry, -- 1927-
Singers -- United States -- Biography
title_display
My song : a memoir
title_full
My Song A Memoir
My song : a memoir / Harry Belafonte with Michael Shnayerson
My song [sound recording] : [a memoir] / by Harry Belafonte with Michael Shnayerson
title_short
My song
title_sub
a memoir
topic_facet
Belafonte, Harry
Biography & Autobiography
Music
Nonfiction
Performing Arts
Singers

Solr Details Tables

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