Interview with Harry Belafonte
QUESTION 5
INTERVIEWER:

You were not only between SNCC and SCLC, you were raising a lot funds for SCLC and during those years these positions of Black power and no Whites couldn't of made it any easier

HARRY BELAFONTE:

No, it didn't make it any easier. As a matter of fact, ah.

INTERVIEWER:

HARRY BELAFONTE:

As a matter of fact, ah, the Black power issue did not make raising funds, a large portion of which--




HARRY BELAFONTE:

Just a couple of things that, ah, I think just for archival or, or for other reasons. Black power also did something beyond just setting a new dimension for the, for the movement as such. It, it did a lot to unify people who had a history of certain levels and grades of dissatisfaction within their own tribal characteristics, light skin Blacks, ah, ah, feeling somewhat removed from Black skin Blacks and, ah, Blacks who had some Indian in them feeling a little bit different from Blacks, who, da, da, da. All those variables which, ah, ah, people were having a problem with, you know. Ah, Black power kind of just gave everybody a single place to be and Black in it's, in, in the use of the word Black in, in the reality to the psyche, Black is really Black. But the Black power movement said, Black is really Black and using that as the base, we accept the fact that all gradations of that color is acceptable under the term Black. So it became very unifying, light skinned Blacks didn't have to sit back any longer. I watched thousands of light skinned Black people struggle with, with their condition, ah, as opposed to Black skin Blacks. Ah, it was, it was a weird kind of thing to see emerge. I had always been aware of it but I never saw it display itself quite the way it did when the word Black power came up and it was a unifying, it was a, a very strange, unifying thing. Everybody had finally a word, they could feel some universality. It was universal Black. It said it all. It didn't get into gradations. Everything else seemed to have gradations. And it was also a word that came out of a realizable and recognizable Black source. Anybody can debate where the negro comes from. Anybody can debate where the colored comes from. Anybody can debate the use of a host of definitions to describe us, but Black power came from a nitty-gritty place, a, a vibrant movement where some people taking charge of their lives. So, it had that aura around it. It was terrifying for a lot of White folks, ah, even for a lot of Black folks. But it was also very healing for I think most. It, it served, I think, a very healthy dimension at that time in the movement.