A Woman to Know: Hazel Scott

I've been brash all my life, and it's gotten me into a lot of trouble. But at the same time, speaking out has sustained me, and given meaning to my life. — Hazel


That's Hazel — playing two pianos at once.

At 8, she won a scholarship to Juillaird. At 20, she made her piano debut at Carnegie Hall.

By 25, she was acting on stage and in movies, always dressed to the nines and always credited as "Hazel Scott, Herself." Her film and stage work was a platform for her political passions — gender equality and civil rights — and after marrying Harlem politician Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Hazel became famous for the rallies, salons and killer parties she hosted at their home in New York.

Hazel refused to play before segregated audiences, and in several films she insisted on costume upgrades for herself and other minority actors.

In 1950, Hazel became the first black woman to have her own television show — solo, with no band accompaniment, guest comedians or co-host. Just Hazel, and her piano (or pianos). Add to your library list:

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