Tag Archives: Harry Belafonte


I looked down the line,
And I wondered.

Everyone had always said that john would be a preacher when he grew up, just like his father. It had been said so often that John, without ever thinking about it, had come to believe it himself. Not until the morning of his fourteenth birthday did he really begin to think about it, and by then it was already too late. — James Baldwin*

Join Ayana Mathis for an online discussion of Baldwin’s first novel, Go Tell It On the Mountain. See link below to register.


T Magazine Book Club

Thursday, December 17.

4 pm on the West Coast; 7 pm East Coast.

*James Baldwin, Go Tell It On the Mountain (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1953); © 1953, 1985 by James Baldwin and the James Baldwin Estate.

From top: Toni Morrison and James Baldwin in 1986 at the Founders Day celebration, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York City, photograph by Hakim Mutlaq, courtesy and © the photographer; Harry Belafonte (left), Baldwin, and Marlon Brando at the 1963 March on Washington, © the Associated Press; Baldwin, Go Tell It On the Mountain (1953) reprint cover image (detail) courtesy and © Vintage International; Steve Schapiro, James Baldwin, Harlem, New York, 1963, gelatin silver print, courtesy and © the photographer; Thomas Allen Harris, Untitled (Amiri Baraka, Maya Angelou & Toni Morrison at James Baldwin’s Funeral at Cathedral of St. John the Divine), 1987, (Baraka’s face is partly hidden by torch on left).


Ellis Haizlip—black, gay, and deeply invested in the African-American liberation and equality movements of the 1960s and ’70s—was the producer and host of the short-lived but seminal public television show Soul!, which aired from 1968 to 1973. Sui generis in its approach and impact, Haizlip’s Soul! gave black voices an unprecedented platform at a crucial time.

Directors Melissa Haizlip and Sam Pollard have brought the life and work of this catalyst to a new generation with the documentary MR. SOUL!, screening this week at the LA Film Festival in its local premiere.

Included in the film are rare interviews and performances by James Baldwin, Nikki Giovanni, Harry BelafonteAl Green, Sidney Poitier, Ruby Dee, Odetta, Stokely CarmichaelMerry Clayton, Betty Shabazz, George Faison, Toni Morrison, Patti LaBelle, The Last Poets, and many more.



Wednesday, September 26, at 7:30 pm.

Writers Guild Theater, 135 South Doheny Drive, Beverly Hills.

Above: Ellis Haizlip interviews Melvin Van Peebles in 1971. Soul! director Stan Lathan looks over a camera operator’s head.

Below: Haizlip, Kathleen Cleaver of the Black Panthers, and a Soul! sound engineer.

Photographs © Chester Higgins Jr.


Miriam Makeba—the South African singer and anti-apartheid activist—was “the voice and the hope of Africa. Her music influenced artists across the globe, and remained anchored in her traditional South African roots, conveying strong messages against racism and poverty.

“Forced into exile in 1959… she performed with Harry Belafonte, Nina Simone, and Dizzy Gillespie, and was married to Hugh Masekela and Stokely Carmichael.”*

A public advocate and entertainer to the end, Makeba died at 76 immediately after leaving a concert stage in Castel Volturno, Italy, in 2008. The documentary MAMA AFRICA—MIRIAM MAKEBA, directed by Finnish filmmaker Mika Kaurismäki, is now playing at the Downtown Independent.


MAMA AFRICA—MIRIAM MAKEBA, through Wednesday, February 21.

DOWNTOWN INDEPENDENT, 251 South Main Street, Los Angeles.



Miriam Makeba with (top) Marlon Brando, and Nina Simone. Image credit: Miriam Makeba Foundation.

Image result for brando makeba









This year, the AFI Fest is celebrating the films of Robert Altman—from the ethereal 3 WOMEN and early masterwork NASHVILLE to his late magnum opus GOSFORD PARK.


CALIFORNIA SPLIT, Saturday, November 11, at 6 pm.

3 WOMEN, Saturday, November 11, at 9 pm.

SHORT CUTS—in 35mm—Sunday, November 12, at 7 pm.

MARK GOODSON SCREENING ROOM, AFI CAMPUS, 2021 North Western Avenue, Los Angeles.


M*A*S*H, Sunday, November 12, at 11:30 am.

CHINESE SIX-PLEX, 6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.


VINCENT AND THEO, Monday, November 13, at 9 pm.

EGYPTIAN THEATRE, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.


GOSFORD PARK, Tuesday, November 14, at 8 pm.

CHINESE SIX-PLEX, 6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.


KANSAS CITY, Wednesday, November 15, at 1 pm.

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, Wednesday, November 15, at 4 pm.

EGYPTIAN THEATRE, 6712 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.


NASHVILLE, Thursday, November 16, at 8 pm.

CHINESE SIX-PLEX, 6925 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles.


See: sensesofcinema.com/altman

From top: Harry Belafonte and Jennifer Jason Leigh in Kansas City; Nashville, Polish poster, designed by Andrzej Klimowski.

KANSAS CITY, Harry Belafonte, Jennifer Jason Leigh, 1996

KANSAS CITY, Harry Belafonte, Jennifer Jason Leigh, 1996