Louis Armstrong: From Childhood To Adulthood

Louis Armstrong: From Childhood to Adulthood

When you think of Louis Armstrong you probably think of a jolly middle-aged man
who can play the cornet like no one else, a man who had it all, a man who had the good
life. Well, Louis was not always that lucky. From childhood to his adulthood, Louis
Armstrong changed much as a person and a musician. He worked very hard to become
what he became and did not let anything get in the way of becoming a musician. In this
paper, you will read about how Louis Armstrong became one of the most influential
people/musicians of his time.
Louis Armstrong’s childhood was not of the normal childhoods most of us have
had. He had a very hard and painful childhood. He was treated very harshly by his family
and the people around him. His mother did not even care enough to keep his birth
certificate. That is why no one is really sure of Louis’s birthdate ,but people believe he
was born around 1898, in New Orleans. Around Louis’s time of birth, many blacks were
confined to live in the slums. The slums were in a way like ghettos. They were very poor,
dirty areas where people who hadn’t much money would live. In the slums, there was
much violence, drug circulation and prostitution. The only people that made any money in
the slums were either the hustlers or the musicians. Considering Louis was not related to
anyone of that status he and his family had very little money. That left Louis with no
possessions whatsoever. He hadn’t any toys to play with, he didn’t even have a simple
stick just to keep him occupied. His clothes were at the lowest of the low class. He was
confined to wearing a dress as a younger child until he was a little older, then he had hand
me down shirts and shorts to wear. His choice of foods was limited to rice and beans. His
family did not make enough money to get better food than that. His family did not have
enough of anything to keep him happy. He felt like nobody loved him. When he was born
his father left his mother and him to start another life with another family. His mother
always was out leaving Louis to fend for himself. But before Louis had lived with his
mother he lived with his grandmother. His grandma took the best care of him out of
anybody in his family. She always made sure that Louis was fed and that he was not alone.
She was the only person that really loved him. She would always take him to church on
Sundays which gave Louis his first singing experience. Louis loved his grandmother but,
after seven years of living with her he moved 18 blocks away to live with his mother
,Mayann.
When he went to her house he found out that he had a new sister named Beatrice.
She was nicknamed Mama Lucy. His mother would always be working long hours and
drink in bars all night. That left Louis to take care of Mama Lucy and himself. Louis was
luck enough to get work from a young white boy who helped him sell papers for pennies.
He also sang in a street choir with some of his friends. As he got into his teen years he
took up crapshooting. All of these odd jobs brought in enough money to feed Mama Lucy
and himself. When working was not getting him anywhere he could always find a careless
or drunk person stumbling in the streets who would drop his/her money. Also, when
nothing was working at all he would occasionally steal some food from the local grocery
stores. But still being just a boy he was not satisfied with the title of being the bearer of
food for his family. He wanted to be and do so many things. He idolized hustlers and their
easy lives. With a life like one of theirs, Louis could do more things with his life and still
support his family. Also, Louis was starting to notice music. He always would admire the
marching bands that would come booming down the streets and the blues that would
come blasting out of all the bars and “honky tonks”. Louis just wanted to be something
more than he was. He was more into being a musician than being a hustler. That’s what he
really wanted. So, on New