Lineup featuring: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jay-Z, Oprah Winfrey, Tiffany Haddish, Usher, Martin Scorsese, DJ Khaled, Charlamagne Tha God, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Whoopi Goldberg, Common, Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Chuck D, Carlos Santana, Bernie & Jane Sanders, Stacey Abrams, Aloe Blacc, Tamika D. Mallory & More
In celebration of legendary singer/songwriter/activist/actor Harry Belafonte’s 94th birthday March 1st, a surprise live virtual party was held on February 28th, the eve of his birthday. Called The Gathering for Harry, it raised $174,000 for the non-profit organization The Gathering for Justice.
At the event, DJ Khaled presented iconic artist & entrepreneur Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter with The Gatekeeper of Truth Award for his support to organizers on the frontlines and his inspiration to generations past and future.
It also featured performances & appearances from Lin-Manuel Miranda, Oprah Winfrey, Tiffany Haddish, Usher, Martin Scorsese, DJ Khaled, Charlamagne Tha God, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Whoopi Goldberg, Common, Bette Midler, Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover, Chuck D, Carlos Santana, Bernie & Jane Sanders, Stacey Abrams, Aloe Blacc, Pete Buttigieg, Tamika D. Mallory, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Rev. Al Sharpton, aja monet, Mysonne The General, Diane Nash, Sheryl Lee Ralph, DJ Carisma, Bryan Stevenson, SupaMan, and more.
Sponsored in part by Frontline Solutions, the Hope and Robert F. Smith Family, the National Basketball Player Association Foundation, and PVH Corp., the event was packed with star-studded performances, video tributes, and testimonials by civil rights and racial justice leaders, elected officials, artists, athletes, and many more paying homage to the icon and the proud founder of The Gathering for Justice. Belafonte started the organization in 2005 after witnessing a news report of a five-year-old Black girl being handcuffed and arrested in her Florida classroom for “being unruly.” The organization’s mission is to build a movement to end child incarceration while working to eliminate the racial inequities that permeate the justice system.
Carmen Perez-Jordan, the President of The Gathering for Justice, said the following about her mentor: “As our nation faces a critical time in our democracy and the fight to protect our freedom, much of the work of today’s movement for justice is inspired by the leadership and guidance of Mr. B, as we lovingly call him. Jay-Z has picked up that baton for this generation.”
In 2014, Belafonte received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (he is also one of few people to achieve EGOT status by winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award). He was a confidante of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and a prominent force in ending both South Africa’s oppressive apartheid regime as well as the release of his friend, Nelson Mandela.
From his Calypso album being the first LP in history to sell more than one million copies, to his involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and beyond, Belafonte has created a lasting legacy to remember.
The Gathering for Harry Participants
Bryan Stevenson (Legacy Award)
Charlamagne Tha God
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
DeJuana L. Thompson
Dr. Bernard Lafayette
Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad
Gaye Theresa Johnson
Patrick Gaspard (Legacy Award)
George Gresham (Legacy Award)
James Counts Early
Jane and Bernie Sanders
Jason Daley Kennedy
Keiajah ‘KJ’ Brooks (Youth Justice Award)
Lonnie G. Bunch III
Luis Jonathan Hernandez
Marcia and Michael Eric Dyson
Mysonne The General
Rev. Al Sharpton
Robert F. Smith
Shawn “JAY-Z” Carter (Gatekeeper Award)
Sheryl Lee Ralph
Susan L. Taylor & Khephra Burns
Tamika D. Mallory
Tony Shaloub & Brooke Adams
Xochitl Larios (Youth Justice Award)