Unique Views, Episode 35: You Might Be Woke, but You Ain’t Belafonte Woke

Gina Belafonte with her father, Harry Belafonte, and his wife, Pamela Frank, at the Ein Herz fuer Kinder Gala 2014 at Tempelhof Airport on Dec. 6, 2014, in Berlin (Isa Foltin/Getty Images)

Being awake doesn’t mean you are woke. I’ve tried to explain this to my co-host and The Root’s creative producer, Danielle Young, aka Ms. Patti LaDanielle, but she doesn’t get it. Danielle is asleep. Fine, maybe she is awake, but she is definitely not woke. Fine. Fine. She’s woke, but I say this reluctantly because Ms. Patti LaDanielle listens to Lil Yachty and she’s really into fashion, and in my mind you can’t do both, or either, and be fully woke.

Nevertheless, we spoke to black American royalty this week and realized that in comparison with her, Danielle and I aren’t as woke as we should be. But it feels like it’s easier to be woke when you’re a Belafonte.


Can you hear that noise? Oh, that’s right: It’s just me name-dropping on that ass!

That’s right; this week Ms. Patti Patti and I had the pleasure of speaking to Gina Belafonte, daughter of the great and wokest brother in black history, Harry Belafonte.

We learned that Harry Belafonte was the real machine behind “We Are the World,” and we tried to come up with the names of artists who could be in an updated version of “We Are the World.”

I wanted Kendrick Lamar, and you guessed it, Ms. Patti Patti wanted the “Cash me outside” girl to do something. I know, I’m ashamed, too. Seriously, she wanted John Legend’s Frederick Douglass wig from Underground to be in it and not Legend himself.


Check out the whole episode below:


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About the author

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.