Harry Belafonte Extends An Olive Branch To Jay-Z And Beyonce
Harry Belafonte is ready to bury the alleged feud between Jay-Z and himself. The social activist/singer Harry Balafonte recently sat down with MSNBC to voice his concerns about the current issues in Florida but also took the time to address the misunderstanding with The Carters.
In 2012, Belafonte expressed his disappointment with celebrities and their lack of social responsibility. He cited Beyonce and Jay-Z as some of the artists, whom have dropped the ball on social issues and not using their celebrity status to influence others and spread social awareness.
In an interview with ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ he said:
“I think one of the great abuses of this modern time is that we should have had such high-profile artists, powerful celebrities. But they have turned their back on social responsibility that goes for Jay-Z and Beyonce, for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen, and now you’re talking. I really think he is black.”
His comment has definitely encouraged other artists to step up and become more active in their communities. Jay-Z on the other hand, was not too pleased and addressed Belafonte’s comments on ‘Nickels and Dimes’ featured on the Magna Cara Holy Grail album. In a recent interview with Elliott Wilson, Jay-z further explained his thoughts:
I’m offended by that because first of all, this is going sound arrogant, but my presence is charity. Just who I am. I felt like Belafonte, he just went about it wrong. Like the way he did it in the media. And then he bigged up Bruce Springsteen or somebody, and it was like, whoa, you just sent the wrong message all the way around. You know what I’m saying? You bigged up–Bruce Springsteen is a great guy, you know what I mean? You a civil rights activist and you just bigged up the white guy against me in the white media.
For this reason, the two stars may finally come to a halt after Belfonte’s conversation with MSNBC. He stressed how this whole situation was a misunderstanding and his comments were not a direct attack on Jay-Z or Beyonce.
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. This conflict that is emerging was not from me as a direct attack on Jay Zor Beyoncé….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. 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 Beyoncé: 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.
Check out the interview below: