A Harlem Library Named After Harry Belafonte

May 8, 2017

The New York Public Library honors singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte.
Credit Ang Santos / WBGO

The 115th Street library in Harlem is being named after singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte.

“I grew up in this very space.  I lived on 114th Street and Manhattan Avenue.  I used to go to Manhattan Park to hang out and do mischief.  But this library and this community did a lot to shape my life,” Belafonte said.  “I’ve done a lot in my life, but this particular ceremony has deeper resonance and deeper meaning than I think many of you would realize.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made it official.

“Imagine the young Harry in this building in the 1930’s and 1940’s learning and growing and imagining a world that could be.  In here was nurtured a conscience that touched all of our lives and people all over the world,” de Blasio said.

Harry Belafonte celebrated his 90th birthday earlier this year.