Belafonte brings more to the table than 'Daaaay-O'

November 05, 1998|By Sandra Crockett | Sandra Crockett,SUN STAFF

The voice sounds weary, but, after all, it's 10: 30 p.m.

long-time fans and bring in new, younger ones. "Most of the music is African- and Caribbean-influenced," he says. "That is music that people are becoming more attuned to."

He is busy co-producing "Parting the Waters" for television, adapted from the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Taylor Branch that chronicles America's civil rights movement.

"We are madly pulling together all of the different aspects of that," he says. "It will be a miniseries, eight hours, or maybe 12 hours. It's scheduled to run January in the year 2000."

Through the years, Belafonte has been active in the civil rights and humanitarian movements that he considers just as much his "career" as being an entertainer.

"The single most rewarding thing in my career is to have been given the gift of taking the human heart to a different level," he says.

"In the early days of the civil rights movement, people dismissed us as provocateurs, as if we were trying to disturb the calm. And during the South African anti-apartheid movement, people thought of Nelson Mandela as a terrorist. Because of all this, some people distanced themselves from me," he says.

"But now people know Nelson Mandela is not a terrorist. They know him as one of the great moral voices of our time. And America is better because of the civil rights movement. To have lived long enough to have been vindicated is to know I used my life well."

Harry Belafonte


Where: Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, 1212 Cathedral St.

When: Today at 2 p.m.; tomorrow and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 p.m.

Tickets: $23-$62

` Call: 410-783-8000

Pub Date: 11/05/98

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