Belafonte: Blacks should participate in gun debate

In this Oct. 22, 2011 photo, U.S singer Harry Belafonte speaks at a press conference at Viennale, the Vienna international film festival, in Vienna, Austria.

Photo by Ronald Zak, Associated Press

In this Oct. 22, 2011 photo, U.S singer Harry Belafonte speaks at a press conference at Viennale, the Vienna international film festival, in Vienna, Austria.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Singer, actor and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte is urging leaders in the black community to get more involved in the national debate on guns.

Belafonte told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the current discussion arising out of the Connecticut school massacre in December often ignores decades of urban gun violence. He said it's important that African-American leaders participate in the debate over gun control.

The 85-year-old Belafonte made his comments during a visit to the Rhode Island School of Design, where he delivered an address on his life as an artist and activist.

Belafonte was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for bringing Caribbean music to a global audience in the 1950s. He also was a key figure in the civil rights movement.

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