Harry Belafonte — known in different stages of his multifaceted career as a popular singer, civil rights activist and star of Broadway shows and Hollywood films — speaks at the Mondavi Center’s Jackson Hall at 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17. Born in Harlem to parents of Caribbean heritage, Belafonte became a sensation in the 1950s, when he recorded a series of enormously popular albums (famous for tunes like “The Banana Boat Song, ” also known as “Day-O”) and sold-out concerts at Carengie Hall.
In the 1960s, Belafonte became active in the civil rights movement, making personal appearances and also helping to finance rallies and other events. He also appeared on TV shows like “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.”
In later decades, Belafonte appeared on “Sesame Street”; ventured into the political fray, opposing the U.S. embargo of Cuba, opposing apartheid in South Africa and criticizing aspects of George W. Bush’s administration; and became involved with several documentary films.
Belafonte published his autobiography in 2011; he will turn 86 in March. His speaking appearance at the Mondavi Center will include a question-and-answer session moderated by Lorena Oropeza, associate professor of history at UCD.
Tickets are $35-$64 general, $17.50-$32 students, available at www.mondaviarts.org or 530-754-2787.