CBCF Statement on the Passing of Harry Belafonte

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                
April 25, 2023

Media contact:
Yolanda Raine
Vice President, Marketing and Communications

CBCF President and CEO Nicole Austin-Hillery released the following statement on the passing of Harry Belafonte.

“The CBCF mourns the passing of Harry Belafonte, a legendary performer and an indispensable supporter of the civil rights movement.

Mr. Belafonte dedicated his life to paving the way for the Black community both on and off the screen as an advocate, key strategist, fundraiser, and mediator for the civil rights movement who continually risked his entertainment career for his activism.

As a civil rights activist, Harry Belafonte stood alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as his trusted confidant during the Civil Rights Movement. In addition, Mr. Belafonte also aided in numerous historical causes, such as the fight against apartheid, climate change, women’s rights, juvenile justice, and the liberation of Africa, by making charitable donations and using his platform.

As a result of this work, CBCF was pleased to present Mr. Belafonte with the George Thomas “Mickey” Leland Award during the Phoenix Awards at our 2010 Annual Legislative Conference.

We extend our deepest condolences to his family, including his wife Pamela, his children Adrienne Belafonte Biesemeyer, Shari Belafonte, Gina Belafonte, David Belafonte, two stepchildren Sarah Frank and Lindsey Frank, and eight grandchildren. Today and every day, we will continue to recognize and honor Mr. Belafonte for his devoted activism, his efforts to create a better world, and to emulate his social action.”


Established in 1976, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) is a non-partisan, nonprofit, public policy, research, and educational institute committed to advancing the global black community by developing leaders, informing policy, and educating the public. For more information, visit