Aaron Douglas played a leading role in the Harlem Renaissance as a painter and a graphic artist, and James Earl Jones is a famous actor. Although these men have taken two different paths, we still managed to find a few similarites in their lives and looks:
Aaron Douglas received a few fellowships and grants. James Earl Jones is one of 11 people who has won the big four entertainmnet awards: an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. (Check out more EGOT Winners).
New York, New York
Frank Sinatra said it best when he sang, “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere!” Perhaps that is why both Jones and Douglas moved to New York while attempting to perfect their respective crafts. Douglas moved to New York in 1925 and studied with artist Winold Reiss. His first major commission was an illustration for Alain Locke’s book The New Negro (1925), and it quickly generated requests for more work from other writers. Jones moved to New York after graduating from the University of Michigan and serving in the Army. He attended the American Theatre Wing and made his Broadway debut in 1957. Today he is best known as the voice of Darth Vader in Star Wars.
After moving to New York and settling in Harlem, Douglas joined a burgeoning arts scene there and played a leading role in what later became known as the Harlem Renaissance. Also in Harlem at the time was Jones’ father, Robert Earl Jones. Robert was closely associated with the movement, playing roles in films and plays such as Langston Hughes’ Don’t You Want to Be Free?
Do you think Aaron Douglas and Robert Earl Jones ever ran into each other?