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McDaniel, Hattielocked

(10 June 1895–26 October 1952)
  • Carlton Jackson

Extract

McDaniel, Hattie (10 June 1895–26 October 1952), film actress and singer, was born in Wichita, Kansas, the daughter of Henry McDaniel, a Baptist minister, and Susan Holbert, and grew up in Denver, Colorado. Former slaves, her parents passed singing abilities along to Hattie and her siblings. During her early education, Hattie’s teachers allowed her to sing spirituals and other songs for her fellow students. In 1910 Hattie recited “Convict Joe” for the Denver Women’s Christian Temperance Union, winning a gold medal and a standing ovation. This success motivated Hattie to join her father and brother Otis—the two had formed a minstrel company—and become a full-time entertainer. She was dubbed by critics and audiences as a “jazz singer.”...

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