Harry Belafonte stands with musicians at concert to raise funds for the Montomery Bus Boycott, May 24, 1956. (Photo courtesy WRL/David McReynolds Photo Project)
WRL Executive Committee minutes from 1956 have an item on "Non-Violent Work in Race Relations”. Bayard Rustin and Ralph DiGia, WRL staff, were tasked with "Assisting in a fund-raising concert to support the nonviolent bus protests in Montgomery and Tallahassee."
WRL was involved, especially through Rustin, with the group In Friendship, which was formed in New York City to send economic aid to the civil rights struggle. In Friendship sponsored the December 5, 1956, concert at the Manhattan Center featuring Coretta Scott King (singing), Duke Ellington, Harry Belafonte, and Tallulah Bankhead. The event raised nearly $2,000 for the boycott committee. A young David McReynolds, still fairly new to NYC, took some photos.
In 2013, WRL honored Harry Belafonte, along with Joan Baez and Daniel Ellsberg, at the 90th Anniversary Gala in New York City. Belafonte was given the Grace Paley Lifetime Achievement Award. The presentation read:
Pictured above: Belafonte holds his Grace Paley Lifetime Achievement award with Daniel Ellseberg and Joan Baez at WRL's 90th Anniversary Gala. (Photo by Ed Hedemann)