Hazel Scott, First African-American Woman to Host U.S. Network Television Series

0 Posted by - September 21, 2018 - ENTERTAINMENT, LATEST POSTS

was born June 11, 1920 in Port of Spain. At the young age of four she moved with her mother to New York and was soon recognized as being a musical prodigy. Scott began receiving scholarships at the age of eight to study at the Julliard School. By the age of 16-year-old she was performing on the radio. Her early musical theatre appearances in New York included: The Cotton Club Revue of 1938, The Priorities of 1942 and Sing Out the News. From the late 1930s to 1940s, she was a leading attraction at both the downtown and uptown locations of Café Society. Scott was one of the first Afro-Caribbean women to receive respectable roles in major Hollywood pictures.

She was also involved in the fight for civil rights, especially in Hollywood. She refused to take roles that casted her as a “singing maid”. She was once escorted from the city of the Austin, Texas by Texas Rangers because she refused to perform when she discovered that and white people were seated in separate areas. Scott filed a lawsuit against owners of a Pasco, Washington restaurant for refusing to serve her and a traveling companion because they were black. She won her case, and it paved the way to help other African-Americans struggling with racial discrimination.

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During the summer of 1950, Scott had her own American television program, “The “.  The show appeared on what used to be the DuMont Television Network. Scott became the first black woman to host a U.S network television series. The show was a 15-minute musical program where Scott performed show tunes and other acts during the show time. The Hazel Scott show was cancelled after Scott appeared before the HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee). However, she denied being involved with the Communist Party.  But, Scott did say she supported Communist party member Benjamin J. Davis for City Council. To avoid further racial discrimination Scott moved to Paris in the late 1950s and did not return to the United States until 1967. Hazel died in 1981 at the age of 61.

 

source:

http://www.wnyc.org/people/hazel-scott/

 

 

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