No One Can Doubt His Loyalty After Reading This
Nat King Cole spent his early career winning praise from music critics for his skills as a jazz pianist.
But it wouldn’t last long - because Cole committed the “ultimate betrayal.”
He betrayed jazz purists by crossing over to singing success with pop/bebop chart-toppers. Radio, film, and a history-making television variety show soon followed.
With this kind of success, it only seemed fitting for Cole to move his family to the well-off yet all-white suburban Los Angeles neighborhood of Hancock Park. The hostility they faced came as a rude awakening.
The Hancock Park Property Owners Association tried to bar the sale of the home to anybody “undesirable” (read: Black), including Cole.
He endured protests, neighbors killing his dogs and burning the N-word into his lawn, all to stake his claim on property that he knew was rightfully his to enjoy no matter what the color of his skin.
Throughout his career, he fought back against discriminatory hotels that refused to serve anyone of his race.
Those legal battles, however, were fought quietly, and when Cole played for all-white audiences at the height of his career, many Black leaders questioned whether he was truly down for the cause - all while he battled behind the scenes for racial justice.
The year 2019 marks 100 years since this legendary icon’s birth. Let us lift him up as the trailblazer he’s always been!
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