Harry Belafonte returns to the University of Maryland

Harry Belafonte wowed a capacity crowd at Cole Field House in 1967.
Harry Belafonte wowed a capacity crowd at Cole Field House in 1967.

Civil rights activist and entertainment legend Harry Belafonte comes to College Park on September 6th with Christian McBride’s Big Band for a performance of McBride’s suite The Movement Revisited. The performance will take place at Dekelboum Concert Hall at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center.  While the venue is different, this won’t be the first time Mr. Belafonte has graced a University of Maryland stage.

Harry Belafonte and Miriam Makeba in 1960
Harry Belafonte in 1960
Harry Belafonte in 1960

In 1960, Mr. Belafonte was invited to campus by the Interfraternity Council.  He performed to a sellout crowd on November 12 at Cole Field House with South African singer Miriam Makeba.  The following day the Diamondback proclaimed “Belafonte Thrills Capacity Crowd here”.

Nipsey Russell in 1967

Mr. Belafonte returned to Cole Field House on October 8, 1966, again as a part of the Inter-Fraternity Council’s concert series.  In the 1967 Terrapin, the reviewer says that Belafonte referred to the massive structure with its crowd of 13,000 as “Noah’s Ark”.  This time he brought with him a new singing sensation from Greece, Nana Mouskouri.  Comedian Nipsey Russell was part of the bill as well, appearing in full Maryland regalia, beanie and all.

The University Archives is thrilled to welcome Harry Belafonte back to College Park. We know that this visit will be just as memorable as all the others.

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