In a ceremony on the floor of the New York State Senate and Assembly on June 7, the legislature honored the legacy of renowned singer, actor, producer, EGOT winner and legendary civil rights trailblazer Harry Belafonte, who passed away on April 25 at the age of 96.
Senate Resolution 861 reads in part: “Whereas, it is the sense of the Legislative Body to honor and pay tribute to those musical geniuses whose commitment and creative talents contributed to the entertainment and cultural enrichment of their community and the entire state of New York….and Whereas, it is the custom of this Legislative Body to remember the life and accomplishments of legendary musician, Harry Belafonte, whose illustrious career will forever live in the hearts of many and continue to inspire generations to come…”
The resolution was sponsored by Senators Andrea Stewart-Cousins and co-sponsored by Cordell Cleare. Cleare, representing Harlem, introduced the Belafonte resolution.
“Harry Belafonte, a true icon and advocate for social justice, has impacted the world through his music, activism, and unwavering commitment to equality,” Cleare said in a statement. “His voice has resonated across generations, inspiring us to confront injustice and work towards a better future. As a beloved figure with deep ties to Harlem, we gather today to honor Harry Belafonte and embrace continuing his legacy of using art and activism to uplift the marginalized and fight for a more just society. May his influence forever guide us in our pursuit of a more equitable and compassionate world.”
Receiving the resolution on behalf of Harry and Pamela Belafonte were Ken Sunshine, Belafonte’s longtime spokesperson and founder of Sunshine Sachs Morgan & Lylis and Voza Rivers, co-founder of Harlem’s award winning New Heritage Theatre Group and vice president of The Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce.