Harry Belafonte speaks during a rally in New York on May 17, 1960.
Jacob Harris/AP

The January 25 ‘MHP’ Syllabus

Updated
 

Art and activism have often intersected as celebrities are apt to use their status to raise awareness for important social and political issues. While there are a fair number of modern examples, one individual, has used his star power to advocate for a variety of causes for more than half a century.

He worked with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., he was integral in keeping Americans focused on the struggles facing Africans, he joined the Dream Defenders in Florida to protest the controversial “Stand Your Ground” law, and most recently, he has turned his attention to ending violence and oppression against women. That man is Harry Belafonte, and he will be joining host Melissa Harris-Perry on set this Saturday for an interview you don’t want to miss!

In addition to the uplifting patriotic rhetoric, the pauses for uproarious applause, and close-ups of the First Lady and special guests at Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama will likely inspire the campaign platforms for both parties in the 2014 midterm elections. Conversely, the result of November’s elections may dictate the president’s productivity throughout the final two years of his presidency.

He has already highlighted the vital need to fix America’s growing inequality, but in this year’s State of the Union he is expected to drive that message even further. As a nation, we have come to a bipartisan consensus that inequality must be addressed. The conflict now rests in deciding which political party has the effective solution. On Saturday’s Melissa Harris-Perry, we will preview Tuesday’s State of the Union with a look at who is making the effective argument on the issue of inequality.

Washington, D.C. has gained a few nicknames over the years and now it’s taking on another. “The Gayest City in America” has a nice ring to it! The new title comes courtesy of a recent article in the LGBT magazine The Advocate. Using a variety of factors, the magazine lists the cities in America that are “the most LGBT-friendly places in America” and coming in at the number-one spot is our nation’s capital. But The Advocate isn’t the only magazine taking note of the LGBT population in the beltway: the National Journal cover this month featured all eight of the openly gay members of Congress. The issue delves into what it means, from a political standpoint, to be a part of the LGBT community in the political center of America.

Statistically speaking, children of married parents are less likely to be poor than those born to single parents, most commonly, single moms. This fact has become the crux of the Republican argument that getting married before you have children is crucial in reducing poverty. While this narrow argument holds a degree of truth, the “marriage proposal” falls apart when you look at the entire picture. On Sunday’s show, join us for a discussion on marriage and what the statistics are really telling us.

Be sure to read what we’ve linked above, and watch Melissa Harris-Perry Sunday at 10 a.m. EST on MSNBC! Also, don’t forget to join us on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #nerdland.

Melissa Harris-Perry

The January 25 'MHP' Syllabus

Updated