Terrific article on Hazel Scott by biographer Karen Chilton. In 1950, Scott brought a successful lawsuit against a restaurant near Spokane, Washington, where she and a traveling companion had been denied service, the waitress told them, “because they were Negroes.”[fn]“Hazel Scott Attorneys Score in Initial Round,” Spokane Daily Chronicle, April 17, 1950. After arriving at her hotel, Scott told her assistant,
“I said I want the following things in the following order: a hot bath, a hot drink, and a lawyer. I sued and I won and I gave all the money to the NAACP.”1
According to historian Dwayne Mack, Scott’s victory helped African Americans challenge racial discrimination in Spokane, while at the same time inspiring civil rights organizations “to pressure the Washington state legislature to enact the Public Accommodations Act” in 1953.2
- 1. Peter Pontillo, Hazel Scott Remembers, 1980.
- 2. Dwayne Mack, “Hazel Scott: A Career Curtailed,” Journal of African American History 91, no. 2 (April 1, 2006): 160.