BILL VAUGHAN’S TASTY CLIPS: Documentary explores Belafonte’s decades of activism

By Bill Vaughan

Entertainment Writer

After celebrating his 96th birthday last week, Harry Belafonte announced that “Following Harry,” a feature documentary sharing looks at him in the most public of places and the most intimate confines of his life, has completed principal photography and is being developed to premiere at fall festivals.

The film unfolds like a poem, allowing audiences to experience the effect that the social justice icon has purposefully, and unintentionally, created. From Ferguson to Fruitland Park, and Ossining to Ghana, even in Belafonte’s kitchen in New York City, the life’s work of this cultural and civil rights icon is explored.

This is the second collaboration between executive producer Belafonte, director and editor Susanne Rostock and producer Julius R. Nasso, who together birthed the award-winning HBO Documentary “Sing Your Song,” which won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Documentary and the Gracie Award for best director; among other accolades.

“At the close of ‘Sing Your Song’ I expressed my desire for the next generation to take my experiences freely, to learn from them, or to bring something better to move the cause of fighting injustice forward,” said Belafonte. “So that’s where ‘Following Harry’ opens, and it’s a magnificent story Susanne has created from over 12 years of footage filmed all over the world, not just with me, but with Aja MonetAloe Blacc, Carmen Perez, Philip Agnew, Jesse Williams and so many more important artist-activists.”

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THE FRUIT: The offspring of musical greats and their journey to step out of the shadows of their prominent parents on the Detroit gospel scene and beyond is the focus of an innovative, new six-part docu-series premiering March 16 on WE tv and on the streaming platform AllBlk.

“Grown & Gospel” will spotlight the rise of Breeann “Bree” Hammond (daughter of Fred Hammond); J. Brooks (son of Bishop Michael Brooks of “Commissioned”), Tasha Page-Lockhart (daughter of Lisa Page Brooks of “Witness”), Nikkia Cole-Beach (daughter of Dorinda Clark Cole of The Clark Sisters), and preacher’s kids Elijah Connor and Shana Wilson-Williams.

TICKET WATCH: Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind & Fire are teaming up for the “Sing A Song All Night Long” tour hitting 20 cities, including The Forum Sept. 15. Tickets go on sale to the general public March 13 via Ticketmaster.

Peter Gabriel (“Sledgehammer,” “Shock The Monkey,” “In Your Eyes”) is touring for the first time since 2012, hitting 12 arenas including The Forum Oct. 13. Ticketmaster will offer those seats beginning March 10.

TASTY QUIP: “I do this for every tone of Black man there is, every shape of Black man there is. For every Black man that loves however they want to love. That’s why I do this.” – Best Supporting Actor Oscar nominee BRIAN TYREE HENRY (“Causeway”) to Essence on his motivation as an actor

CLIPPETTES: Rumors are strong that Paramount Global is contemplating putting BET up for sale, and that Byron Allen and Tyler Perry are both putting up bids for a majority stake that will also include VH1 and BET Studios (currently owned by Rashida Jones and Kenya Barris) …

Billy Joel and Stevie Nicks unite for an evening at SoFi Stadium, as YG is at The Observatory, Ibeyi is at the Regent Theater, The Hiroquest: Genesis Tour with Steve Aoki arrives March 10 at Shrine Expo Hall, and John C. Reilly is Mr. Romantic accompanied by a band at Largo …

John Boyega is set to star in a sci-fi film called “The Freshening” with the concept of the U.S. government requiring citizens to take an injection, causing everyone to see each other as the same gender and race as themselves …

Dawnn Lewis, Dorian Wilson and Kenny Lattimore top the cast of Don B. Welch’s hit inspirational stage play “A Change Is Gonna Come” at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre March 11 …

Vintage live performances by legends Ike & Tina Turner, Richard Pryor, Chuck Berry and others make up the initial batch of videos presented on YouTube’s new “The Midnight Special” channel …

Deon Cole: “Does This Work?” is asked at the Hollywood Improv March 12 as the comic actor works out new stand-up material from scratch …

Carrie Underwood’s The Denim & Rhinestones Tour with Jimmie Allen comes March 13 to Crypto.Com Arena, while Masego is at The Observatory, Dylan Sincliar is at The Echo, and a conversation with former BET CEO Debra Lee is held at the Grammy Museum …

Zachary Levi, Helen Mirren, Meagan Good, Lucy Liu and more are expected to walk the red carpet of the Hollywood premiere of Warner Bros.’ “Shazam! Fury of the Gods” March 14 at the Regency Village Theatre at about 5:30 p.m. …

Later Brett Goldstein – “Work In Progress” finds the “Ted Lasso” actor/writer trying out an hour of material he’s been polishing in advance of the series’ third (and perhaps final, according to co-creator Jason Sudakis) season premiering on Apple TV+ the following day …

KRS-One raps at The Venice West March 15, as The Art of Scoring: A Conversation with Composer Kris Bowers (“Bridgerton,” “King Richard,” “Green Book,” “Chevalier”) is presented for free at the Colburn School …

Ziggy Marley performs at Walt Disney Concert Hall March 16, while Westside Boogie is at The Novo.

TASTY QUIP: “I went on Tamron Hall’s show and I was so excited. She’s a beautiful Black woman who branched off and got her own show. I did not necessarily feel supported on her show. I didn’t expect her to agree with everything. But there was a turn where it turned just from her asking questions about the book to her kinda, almost attacking me, almost making me feel like I had to justify anything I had going on. It just didn’t feel good.” –PORSHA WILLIAMS (“Real Housewives of Atlanta”) interviewed on “The Breakfast Club”

TC ON TV: March 10 – “Unprisoned” (Hulu): Executive-produced and starring Kerry Washington and Delroy Lindo, this eight-episode series, based upon its creator Tracy McMillan’s life, is about a messy, but perfectionist, relationship therapist/single mom whose life is turned right-side-up when her dad gets out of prison and moves in with her and her teenage son. “Luther: The Fallen Son” (Netflix): Idris Elba’s troubled detective character returns for the first time in a feature film co-starring Cynthia Erivo and Andy Serkis. “Off Camera” (Ovation): Regina Hall “The Tonight Show” (NBC): Damson Idris, Bizarrap & Shakira

March 11 – “Girl In The Closet” (Lifetime): Follows a 10-year-old accidentally placed in the custody of her aunt Mia (Tami Roman), a convicted murderer, after her mother Patricia (Remy Ma) suffers an aneurysm. “Saturday Night Live” (NBC): Jenna Ortega (“Wednesday”) hosts.

March 12 – “Be My Guest with Ina Garten” (Food): Stanley Tucci visits. “The Oscars” (ABC): Jimmy Kimmel hosts with presenters to include Samuel L. Jackson, Dwayne Johnson, Janelle Monáe, Zoe Saldaña, Arianna DuBose, Questlove, Michael B. Jordan, Jonathan Majors and Donnie Yen. Also Rihanna is set to perform her Best Original Song-nominated “Lift Me Up” from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” with Lenny Kravitz to play during the “In Memoriam” segment.

March 13 – “Jussie Smollett: Anatomy of a Hoax” (Fox Nation): A five-part docu-series featuring the first interviews with participant brothers Abimbola and Olabinjo Osundairo. “Most Expensivist” (Vice): 2 Chainz’s journey to find the priciest collections takes him to Hollywood and the intersection of big dreams and the big screen; with Sarah Silverman and Kenya Barris. “The Daily Show” (Comedy): Kal Penn is this week’s guest host.

March 14 – “That’s My Jam” (NBC): Patti LaBelle, Billy Porter 

March 15 – “Turning The Tables with Robin Roberts” (Disney+): Another season of intimate conversations with multiple generations of Hollywood’s most inspiring women.

March 16 – “Queens Court” (Peacock): Mega-producer Will Packer brings together three famous, single women for an epic new dating series, starring Tamar Braxton, Evelyn Lozada and Nivea, hosted by Hollywood power couple Holly Robinson Peete and Rodney Peete. “Zatima” (BET+): A second season of the Tyler Perry series chronicling a couple trying to remain together against all odds.

END QUOTE: “I know that this spirit can never be taken away from me, unless I abandon it myself. Nothing outside of me can make me abandon it. …I say, ‘Onward!’ And that’s that.” – Jazz legend WAYNE SHORTER 

As featured in the Los Angeles Wave and Independent, Tasty Clips is one of the leading entertainment columns in the nation, serving nearly 1 million weekly readers. Bill Vaughan may be reached at, via Twitter @tastyclips, or Instagram @tasty_clips.