*A new HBO documentary about  the iconic Harry Belafonte will explore the career of the actor, singer, activist and his struggle through racial discrimination in the entertainment industry.

Known as a sex symbol in the 50s and 60s, Belafonte has also spoken out against the segregation of American pop culture throughout his career. He is also known for his roles alongside Sidney Poitier and Marlon Brando.

The documentary will also unveil some tremendous challenges and adventures Belafonte’s had in his life and career including dealing with a Southern police officer who threatened to kill him if he used the restroom reserved for white patrons.

“Sing Your Song,” which was screened earlier this week at Time Warner headquarters in Manhattan, focuses briefly on Belafonte’s early, massive success as an actor and jazz singer. But most of the film explores Belafonte’s inexhaustible work as a civil rights leader. In fact, the documentary – which was co-produced by daughter Gina Belafonte and directed by Susanne Rostock – derives its name from the resonant advice given to Belafonte by his mentor, the singer/activist Paul Robeson: “Get them to sing your song and they’ll want to know who you are.”

“Sing Your Song” premieres October 17th on HBO.