Legendary entertainer and humanitarian Harry Belafonte wants the inaugural “Many Rivers To Cross” Social Justice Music and Arts Festival to “activate calls to action to mobilize attendees around society’s most urgent human rights issues”. Thursday night, Belafonte and rapper T.I. headlined a town hall meeting in northwest Atlanta at The Gathering Place. Moderated by V103 Atlanta’s Frank Ski, it included discussions about entertainers giving back (or not) to their community and whether our community is finding itself in the same detrimental pre-Civil Rights era. During the town hall meeting, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed presented Belafonte with the City of Atlanta’s highest honor, the Phoenix Award. City Council member Keisha Lance Bottoms presented an award on behalf of the Council.
The Festival, being launched by Belafonte’s Sankofa.org, is this weekend (October 1-2) in chattahoochee Hills, GA, which is just outside of Atlanta. It will feature artists including T.I., Public Enemy, John Legend, Common, and Carlos Santana. Chris Rock and Jesse Williams are also confirmed to appear.