Belafonte's speech was eloquent, emotive and inspiring.
Harry Belafonte, an icon of classic Hollywood, received an honorary Oscar at a special ceremony this Saturday night. Belafonte received his award at the Governor’s Awards in Los Angeles, alongside the likes of Irish actress Maureen O'Hara, Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki and French screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere.
Upon receiving the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, Belafonte took the opportunity to speak out about activism in general. Taking the stage, Belafonte said: "Artists are the radical voice of civilisation. I really wish I could be around for the rest of this century, to see what Hollywood does with the rest of the century. Maybe, just maybe, it could be civilisation's game changer."
Throughout his career, Belafonte has stood with Martin Luther King Jr. As a friend, a fellow civil rights campaigner and as a financial backer.
Among his humanitarian work he has been a Unicef ambassador and a campaigner on HIV in Africa, as well as supporting prostate cancer charities since he was successfully treated for the disease in 1996.