I join the Bahamian people and millions around the world in mourning the passing of singer, actor, cultural icon and civil rights activist of world renown, Harry Belafonte. He was ninety six.
He was a friend of The Bahamas and was actively involved in our fight for social justice, equality, majority rule as well as educational development. It is well known that the movie Buck and the Preacher, in which he starred alongside our very own Sir Sidney Poitier, premiered at the Shirley Street Theatre and the proceeds were used to assist in building the Jordan Prince William Baptist School. Mr. Belafonte also participated in a fundraiser to assist in the development of Saint Augustine’s College.
In addition using the medium of art and culture to globalize the uniquely Caribbean sound of calypso, he is also remembered and widely revered for his social and political activism during the civil rights movement in the United States and later, for the fight to bring an end to the practice of apartheid in South Africa and the release of imprisoned Nelson Mandela.
I thank him for his contributions to The Bahamas in the areas of social and political activism as well as educational development. Mr. Belafonte would always be remembered as a friend of The Bahamas.
On behalf of the government and people of The Bahamas, I express our condolences to the Belafonte family and the entertainment community.May he rest in peace.