When Harry Belafonte joined the Navy, he believed he could contribute to a greater cause, and he still does in certain ways. He bravely enlisted in 1944 to fight in World War II, but he never received orders to report overseas, much to his dismay. Despite having served in the military in a minor position, he never got to see battle.
Harry decided to continue to study at the New School for Social Research shortly after he was discharged, despite the fact that his ambitions of action were never materialized. In the 1940s, he studied acting and performed in the American Negro Theatre, earning enough money to pay for his acting studies by singing in bars.