Interview with Ivanhoe Donaldson
QUESTION 19
INTERVIEWER:

TELL ME ABOUT HARRY BELAFONTE'S GIFT – HOW MUCH DID HE GIVE AND WHEN AND WHAT, WHAT SIGNIFICANCE WAS IT?

Ivanhoe Donaldson:

Well, Belafonte was um at different points in SNCC's history very important to ah the organization. One, Belafonte' played a mediating role often times between frustrations that developed between the leadership personalities of SNCC and the leadership personalities of SCLC. He was very fond of Dr. King, a close personal advisor of King, and a close friend, and he was also fond of Forman, of McDoo…and of other personalities in SNCC and he often brought them together. In 1961 um Belafonte gave I think $20, $25,000 to the organization; it was his first single largest gift and the organization's proud of it because it came from a black, you know, American. And secondly, ah SNCC had been getting a dollar here, a hundred dollars there and it was just a major ah ah significance to the organization he thought enough of it, enough importance about what they were doing ah to make such a donation at that time. And ah I mean there's a whole history, I think in terms of Belafonte's involvement um with SNCC and with SCLC during the period of ‘61, ‘62, ‘63, ‘64, ‘65. In fact, Belafonte organized the entertainment for the 1965 Selma—Montgomery march and put together the entire night activity that took place in Montgomery the night the march came into town, or the night before at St. Jude's.