Martin Luther King: A Personal Tribute, No. 1, 1972
Harry Belafonte, the internationally famous performing artist, was a trusted adviser and friend of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The following is excerpted from a tribute to Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois and Dr. King that Belafonte delivered at the Freedomways annual W.E.B. Du Bois Cultural Evening, January 30, 1972.
On all levels of life and as each day unfolds, respect for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. grows impressively, and the essence of this respect is the fact that he had deeper insights than most of us have appreciated. It is not mere poetry to call him prophetic. The accuracy of his prophecies is almost uncanny.
By the early 1950's, history had endowed him with a sense of the precise moment that Black people were ready for mass action, ready for its risks, and ready for its responsibilities. At a time when there was only limited, essentially timid, activity, except for those acts solely