THE MEASURE OF A MAN: As he triumphantly heads into his advancing years, the prestigious accolades keep rolling in for performing arts icon and social activist Harry Belafonte. On the heels of being awarded a Kennedy Centre honour and being honoured with the AmFar Gala in New York, Belafonte was last week conferred with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree by Princeton University during the Ivy League institution's annual graduation exercise and commencement ceremony, where five other luminaries were so honoured. "His integrity and courage inspire admiration and imitation, and his example strengthens our hope that the daybreak of justice, peace and equality may still come," noted Princeton's orator and trustee Randall Kennedy. A three-time winner at the Grammys (including the Lifetime Achievement Award), a 1954 Tony awardee and a 1959 Emmy recipient for the TV special Tonight with Harry Belafonte, Belafonte released the candid autobiography, My Song, in 2013 to critical acclaim and a documentary-feature adaptation courtesy of HBO.
SAME TIME NEXT YEAR: People are still talking about last month's ubersuccessful staging of the fourth annual Talking Trees Literary Fiesta, which drew culture lovers and members of the local literati in their numbers to Treasure Beach on May 23 for a swell day-long feast of readings, fellowship and southern hospitality. It was nothing short of memorable. That's why everyone is insisting, let's do it again next year. But with the highly anticipated return of the Calabash festival at Jake's, Talking Trees organizers are thinking of hosting a Kingston edition instead next year. "We don't want people to have to make two trips to Treasure Beach," explained Christine Marrett, proprietor of the Two Seasons Guest House (that hosts the annual fiesta), when TALLAWAH bumped into her in New Kingston last week. "So Talking Trees might be held here in Kingston for 2016. After the other team members and I get a chance to sit down and discuss the plans, we'll make an official announcement."