domingo, 20 de mayo de 2007

Matilda, she take me money and run Venezuela !!

Harry Belafonte acaba de cumplir 80 años. El “Rey del Calipso” fue la primera persona en vender un millón de copias de un álbum, el primer afroamericano en ganar un Emmy, y es quizás el artista más notable del mundo. En 1944, justo antes de zarpar como integrante de la Marina de los Estados Unidos durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial, se le prohibió la entrada al club nocturno Copacabana. Diez años después, era el artista principal de este lugar. Conoció a Rosa Parks, a Paul Robeson y a Eleanor Roosevelt. Mantuvo correspondencia con Nelson Mandela mientras este se encontraba en prisión, en el tiempo en que el Gobierno estadounidense consideraba al líder sudafricano como un terrorista.Belafonte fue íntimo confidente del reverendo Martin Luther King (hijo). Hablaba diariamente con él. El FBI interceptaba sus conversaciones. Taylor Branch, autor galardonado de una trilogía de libros sobre King, también se encontraba en la fiesta de Harry. Belafonte dice que, por luchar por el derecho al voto y por poner fin a la segregación, “se nos tildaba de poco patriotas, se nos veía como insurgentes, como personas que cometían actos de traición a nuestra nación y a la tranquilidad de nuestros ciudadanos. Incluso, El FBI fue a casa de King y amenazó a su esposa y a sus hijos.En 1965, Belafonte participó en la marcha original de Selma, junto con King. Justo antes de llegar a Montgomery, la Iglesia Católica de San Judas abrió sus puertas a los miles de manifestantes. Belafonte llamó a artistas de todo el país. Tony Bennett vino, al igual que Pete Seeger (ambos estaban en la fiesta de cumpleaños de Harry), Sammy Davis (hijo), Mike Nichols, el director de orquesta Leonard Bernstein, Odetta y Joan Baez. Bajo la lluvia, armaron una tribuna en medio del lodo con ataúdes donados por morgues de la región.Se arriesgaron increíblemente. Hubo muertos y heridos de bala, así como personas golpeadas. Viola Liuzzo, un ama de casa blanca que residía en Detroit, fue mortalmente herida por miembros del Ku Klux Klan mientras llevaba a los manifestantes de vuelta a Selma. Semanas antes, la policía le disparó a un hombre llamado Jimmie Lee Jackson, quien falleció más tarde. A pesar de todo esto, Belafonte dice que hay mucho más en juego ahora.Al igual que los leones de piedra que custodian la Biblioteca Pública de Nueva York, Harry Belafonte, fiero, intrépido y concentrado, protege el alma de la lucha. Aún cuando ya va camino de los noventa años, este león no duerme esta noche.

Mi admiración para Harry Belafonte, lo descubrí hace poco y es un grande de todos los tiempos:

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