Turn The World Around: A Tribute to Harry Belafonte

Friday, June 2, 2023, 7:30 - 8:30pm

Add to Calendar

Turn The World Around: A Tribute to Harry Belafonte

Join acclaimed novelist Walter Mosley and New York Times critic-at-large Wesley Morris as part of a free public program celebrating the life and impact of the legendary singer, actor, activist, and humanitarian – Harry Belafonte. In 2006, Belafonte interviewed Mosley from Cooper Union's Great Hall stage about his book, Life Out of Context, and discussed ways to fight poverty, exploitation, injustice, and racism. Morris and Mosley will reflect on that conversation and its relevance in a contemporary context as they discuss Belafonte’s indelible mark on our world and the barriers that he broke. This free program is made possible through the generous support of The Gardiner Foundation.

Walter Mosley is the author of 60 critically acclaimed books of fiction including his newest, Every Man A King, nonfiction, memoir, and plays. From the first novel he published, Devil in a Blue Dress with its protagonist Easy Rawlins, Mosley’s work has explored the lives of Black men and women in America—past, present, and future. Several of his books have been adapted for film and tv including Devil in a Blue Dress, Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, and the forthcoming Apple TV+ production of The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey. Mosley is also a writer and an executive producer on the John Singleton FX show, “Snowfall.” He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy®, several NAACP Image awards, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, among others.

Wesley Morris is a critic-at-large at the New York Times and a staff writer at the New York Times magazine, where he writes about popular culture and hosts the podcast “Still Processing” with J. Wortham. For three years, Morris was a staff writer at Grantland, where he wrote about movies, television, and the role of style in professional sports, and co-hosted the podcast “Do You Like Prince Movies,” with Alex Pappademas. Before that, he spent 11 years as a film critic at the Boston Globe, where he won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for criticism. In 2021, he was awarded a second Pulitzer in criticism for his writing at the Times.

Please note first come, first seated; registration does not guarantee admission as we generally overbook to ensure a full house.

Located in The Great Hall, in the Foundation Building, 7 East 7th Street, between Third and Fourth Avenues

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.