News: Activist Harry Belafonte's Jay-Z & Beyonce 'Social Responsibility' Remarks Disputed, "Try Acknowledging What This Couple Has Done"

Monday, Aug 13, 2012 8:40AM

Written by Cyrus Langhorne

Days after renowned activist Harry Belafonte made headlines for calling out mega married couple Jay-Z and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter for their lack of social responsibility, a Newsone writer has struck back at his comments.

Rather than simply offer an opinion, writer Kirsten West Savali provided ample examples and detailed accounts of how much Jay and Bey have given back to society.

Contrary to popular belief, Jay-Z, who earned $38 million last year -- not the much hyped about $63 million that he earned the year before -- has donated a lot more than the approximately $6,400 for which he's given credit. Most of us know that the historic concerts at Carnegie Hall benefited the United Way of New York City and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation of which his mother, Gloria Carter, is president and CEO; but a lot has not been said about what that foundation actually does. In addition to education, the SCF Toy Drive ensures children in Brooklyn's Marcy Projects have toys for the holidays and focuses on "giving back home." In addition to Marcy, toy drives have also been organized for an LGBT Service Center, The Children's Hospital at Downstate Medical Center (Brooklyn, New York) and the Calvary Baptist Church (East Orange, New Jersey). (Newsone)

Savali also pointed out the individual efforts Beyoncé has put time into.

Beyonce has been a vocal supporter of amfAR, a foundation for AIDS research, and has spoken with young girls openly about the dangers of unprotected sex and battles with temptation to ensure that they stay safe. She also donated her entire salary from 2008?s Cadillac Records to Phoenix House, a drug and rehabilitation clinic she visited for research to play the incomparable Etta James, and is also a spokeswoman for Girls Educational & Mentoring Services (GEMS). Maybe, just maybe, we should try acknowledging what this couple has done, which may encourage them do more, instead of band-wagon jumping on the opinion of one -- albeit, great -- man and taking his justifiably frustrated criticism even further than I believe that he intended. (Newsone)

Recently, Belafonte cited the music couple for their perceived lack of social responsibility.

"I think that 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 Beyoncé for example. Give me Bruce Springsteen and now you're talking. I really think he is black." (The Hollywood Reporter)

Belafonte is most known for his involvement in civil rights causes.

Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr. (born March 1, 1927) is an American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. He was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s. Belafonte is perhaps best known for singing "The Banana Boat Song", with its signature lyric "Day-O". Throughout his career he has been an advocate for civil rights and humanitarian causes and was a vocal critic of the policies of the George W. Bush Administration. (Wikipedia)

Check out some recent Jay-Z footage below:

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