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Hazel Scott: A Woman, a Piano and a Commitment to Justice

Author: Susan Engle   Illustrator: Luthando Mazibuko
Product Code: HST
ISBN: 978-1-61851-194-2
Publisher: Bellwood Press
Availability: Not Yet Published



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Hazel Scott was a champion for civil and women’s rights. Born in Trinidad in 1920, she moved with her family to the United States in 1924, where she played her first professional recital at age 5 and was accepted as a private student to study piano at The Juilliard School, a private performing arts conservatory in New York City, at age 8. By the time she was thirteen, she was being booked for performances as “Little Miss Hazel Scott—Child Wonder Pianist,” and soon afterward became an accomplished singer as well. In 1938, she was cast in her first Broadway musical—Sing Out the News. Shortly afterward, she recorded her first solo album—Swinging the Classics: Piano Solos in Swing Style with Drums—and appeared in her first film, Something to Shout About. As her musical and film career grew, she made headlines by standing up for the rights of women and African Americans, and she refused to play for segregated audiences. When Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led the March on Washington in August, 1963, Hazel led a march in Paris, where she was living, in front of the American Embassy. She learned about the Bahá’í Faith from Dizzy Gillespie and became a Bahá’í on December 1, 1968. She passed away in 1981.


We invite you to learn more about this “Change Maker” and the enduring impact she had on race relations through her performing arts.

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