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Kempt Icon: Harry Belafonte

  • Najib Benouar


Spending six decades in the public eye is not an easy thing—especially when you’re as outspoken as Harry Belafonte.

The man is 86 years old and still ruffling feathers when speaking his mind. This week he’s beefing with Jay (no hyphen) Z. Last week, he was protesting “stand your ground” laws in Florida.

He’s going on six decades of this sort of brashly wise righteousness. And, might we add, he’s been doing so while managing to look quite dapper in the process.

Belafonte shot to stardom in the era when just being a famous African-American was seen as a political statement—let alone his insistence on being at the forefront of the civil rights movement (Martin Luther King famously planned a few legendary marches while holed up in Harry’s apartment). Over the years, he went from the open-shirted calypso crooner to the slim-tie-and-sharp-suited activist to the dapper old man in turtlenecks and gun-check blazers we all aspire to be one day. It’s been quite the run. And he shows no sign of letting up.

Hence, we take a moment to celebrate the legendary Harry Belafonte in six iconic photos.»