Harry Belafonte would like to meet with Jay Z and wife Beyonce.
Jay and Belafonte have had exchanges with culminated on Jay Z’s album Magna Carta Holy Grail, where he tested the legendary Belafonte’s criticism that he and wife Beyonce lacked political tact.
In an interview, Belafonte was asked if Jay Z should continue to play a concert with Justin Timberlake in August, but he expounded greatly.
“I would be hard pressed to tell Mr. Jay Z what to do with this time and his fortune. All I can be critical is of what he is not doing,” the entertainment and Civil Rights icon said. “This conflict that is emerging was not from me as a direct attack on Jay Z or Beyonce. I was at a press conference in Switzerland. Questions were raised by the international press. They asked about the artists and the social engagement of the past based on a film we were watching…and how artists responded earlier in my life and how they responded today.”
“And I made the observation that the highly powerful voice that our community has – Black America has – there is so much celebrity power that it was sad to see that the collective of the celebrity power had not been applied to bring consciousness to the inequities that we face,”
“Artist that heard that responded in a very strong way. You’ll find that Jamie Foxx, you’ll find Chuck D [of Public Enemy]…you find that any number of highly profiled people have taken that critique and called for [a meeting]. We’ve sat. We’ve talked. And I will tell you now that these people that I’ve just mentioned are officially behind Dream Defenders. They are prepared to come down. They are prepared to perform. I would hope that Jay Z would not take personally what was said because it was not said about him personally.”
“Having said that, I would like to say to Jay Z, to Beyonce: My heart is wide open and filled with nothing but hope and the promise that we can sit and have a one-on-one. And lets understand each other rather than try to answer these questions and these nuances in a public place.”
Jay Z expressed his grievances recently in an interview with his own Life + Times website.
“I’m offended by that because first of all, and this is going to sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am. I felt Belafonte he just went about it wrong. Like the way he did it in the media, and then he big’d up Bruce Springsteen or somebody. And it was like, ‘whoa,’ you just sent the wrong message all the way around,”
Jay Z said.
For now, Belafonte remains camped out in Florida with the Dream Defenders, who have stayed committed to fighting laws like Stand Your Ground.
The full video is below.
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