When asked in a recent interview how he felt about the state of Black America, world renown entertainer and civil rights leader, Harry Belafonte said that he was disappointed in our progress or lack there of. He stated the fact that there are more Black millionaires in this country than ever before & they do not use their economic empowerment, fame or cache' to affect a positive change in Black America.
In 1990 Democratic mayor of Charlotte and early civil rights leader Howard Gantt challenged Republican Jessie Helms for his senate seat in North Carolina. When Michael Jordan who is perhaps one of the most famous North carolinians was asked to endorse Gantt his reply was "Republicans wear sneakers to!" Jordan obviously choose merchandise sales over principals. The reason I remember his answer so vividly is because I was shocked but even more disappointed. At the time he was easily the most influential athlete in the world and he chose to squander the opportunity to stand against a party that doesn't have our best interests at heart.
Fast forward to today. Whenever I see a famous rapper or R&B singer or actor on TV I always think that somebody's album is about to drop, they just had a baby, just got married, or just got in trouble. I never expect them to talk about voter suppression, or the Trayvon Martin case, or other issues important to our community because they almost never do.
There was a time when entertainers like Harry Belafonte, James Brown, , Dick Gregory, and Sidney Poiter risked their careers & lives to support Dr. King & the civil rights movement. But today's African American entertainers just don't seem to have that some sense of responsibility. Thank God for free downloads. They won't be using my money to put gas in the Maybach. Why support those who don't support us?