Coleman Hawkins' Reign during the Harlem Renaissance

Topics: Blues, Jazz, African American culture Pages: 5 (1646 words) Published: March 30, 2006
Coleman Hawkins' Reign During the Harlem Renaissance
A very big part of the 1920's was the Harlem Renaissance also known as the "New Negro Movement." It brought out the art, music, and literature side of most African American people. This took place in New York and during the 1920's and ended around the early 1940's. Coleman Hawkins was an African American figure during the Harlem Renaissance that sparked jazz music. A modern figure that resembles Coleman Hawkins is BB King, who continues to promote black culture. BB King is still alive and light on his feet and playing music with the same passion that he had when he was young.(Geffen)

The Harlem Renaissance was a period of time that black music, art, and literature actually started to become known. This was a very important part in African American history because it was one of the first times in American history that many African Americans could earn a living and be recognized for something they accomplished ( Jackson 1). This time period also influenced blacks to come out of there shells and start sharing with the world there different cultures. The nightlife during the Harlem Renaissance became very alive. People were going to clubs listening to the jazz musicians, dancing on the streets, and just going out and having a good time.

Many other African American people were becoming famous through theatres, music, art , and literature. The people that were directly involved with the renaissance were often more of the educated and middle class blacks (Jackson 2) . During the 1920's in the United States the Great Migration was going on. This would cause many African Americans to move away from the south and head north. By doing this, this caused them to populate more and more in New York, which was the heart of the Harlem Renaissance. (Jackson 2).

In our world today there are many African American people that are still writing music, doing art, and writing literature. For instance black people have sort of made there own music called hip hop/ rap. This is there way of expressing there different backgrounds and cultures through there music. In today's world things have gotten a lot easier for African American people to succeed. No one is really judged by there color of skin but more of how good they are at what they are doing.

Coleman Hawkins was born on November 12th, 1904, and really started to become popular through the 1920's. At the young age of five he began playing the piano, and the cello at age seven. Then on his ninth birthday he requested a tenor sax and he received it. He was already successful by the age of twelve because he was playing professionally at school dances. (Richardson 1). Almost all of the good jazz musicians were born in the twentieth century and became successful before the age of thirty ( Richardson 1). Therefore you know that Hawkins, also known as the "Hawk", was something special if he was already performing at the age of 12.

Hawkins attended high school in Chicago, and after he graduated from there he went to Washburn College for a period of two years. At Washburn College Hawkins studied the subjects of compositions and harmony( TBS 1) . In the spring of 1921 is when " The Hawk" really had his first real job. He played at the 12th Street Theater in the orchestra (Richardson 2). Over the next year Coleman really started to get popular. He begin to tour with Mamie Smith and also the Jazz Hounds. After about a year with the Jazz hounds, Hawkins left them and join with Fletcher Henderson for the next ten years. Once he started touring with Henderson he became a star almost instantly (Richardson 2). Hawkins also would wear the most expensive cloths and drive some of the most expensive cars when he was touring with Henderson (Richardson 2).

One author writes " In Hawkins I fully expected to see a god. And I did… When he greeted someone between sets, his voice was stately and deep, a match for his sound on tenor. He exuded...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • THE Harlem Renaissance Essay
  • Harlem Renaissance 1 research project Essay
  • The Harlem Renaissance Essay
  • Harlem Renaissance Essay
  • Harlem Renaissance Essay
  • Harlem Renaissance Essay
  • The Harlem Renaissance Essay
  • Harlem Renaissance Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free