Cook, Will Marion
- Marva Griffin Carter
(b Washington, DC, Jan 27, 1869; d New York, NY, July 19, 1944). American composer and conductor. Christened William Mercer Cook, he later changed his name to Will Marion in honor of his mother. Cook came from the first generation of well-educated post-Civil War African Americans who were born free. With this new-found liberty, he became an advocate for racial uplift in the transition from the minstrel show to the black musical. A gifted violinist, he attended Oberlin Preparatory and then Oberlin College between ...