Written with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Schnayerson, My Song is an inspiring story of performance and protest, from a superstar singer and actor who was on the front lines of practically every progressive political battle in modern memory.
Along the way, he befriended some of the most influential figures of the 20th century, from Tony Curtis, Marlon Brando and Sidney Poitier to Martin Luther King, the Kennedys, Eleanor Roosevelt, Fidel Castro, James Baldwin, Bob Dylan and Nelson Mandela. From his impoverished childhood in Harlem and Jamaica, through his meteoric rise as an international calypso star, provocative crossover into Hollywood where he broke down many racial barriers, passionate lifelong involvement in the civil rights movement and myriad other social causes, to his personal struggles and rich friendships, this is a remarkable, multifaceted and hugely inspirational story.
“A man whose story should be told for generations to come” (Robert Redford)
“A gorgeous account of the large life of a Harlem boy”
new York Times
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“It isn’t just the story of man, but the story of a country and a century”
“A potent memoir of our times”
“Somewhere amid the accounts of when he became the first artist to sell a million copies of an album, the first black leading actor to romance a white leading actress in a major Hollywood film, and the man who was asked to pick out the clothes that Martin Luther King would be buried in, you realize just how extraordinary Harry Belafonte’s life has been … Not only a capitaving memoir of his own story but an intriguing look at US history from the late ’40s the present”
“Bracingly opinionated autobiography from an American original”
Harry Belafonte’s 1956 album Calypso made him the first artist in history to sell more than one million LPs. He won both a Tony award and an Emmy, and he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. He served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and is the recipient of Kennedy Center Honors for excellence in the performing arts. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in December 2022 and died in April 2023.
Michael Shnayerson is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.