Harry Belafonte receives the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award at the 2014 Governors Awards

On November 8, 2014, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences awarded Harry Belafonte the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award Oscar for 2014.  In his acceptance speech, Belafonte reviewed for the audience some of the more shameful moments in the history of Hollywood movies from Birth of a Nation in 1915 to Tarzan, the Ape Man.  He also recognize landmark films like The Defiant Ones and 12 Years a Slave.  His longtime friend and fellow activist, Sidney Poitier, joined him on the stage.  Belafonte exhorted the movie industry to greater achievements. ““I really wish I could be around the rest of the century to see what Hollywood does with the rest of this century.  After all, Paul Robeson said artists are the voice of civilization. Perhaps we as artists and missionaries, through heart and soul, can influence citizens everywhere in the world to see a better side, and look beyond as a species.”


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