A Man Called Hawk: A Tribute To The Baddest, Deadliest, Most Stylish, Coolest Cat In Tv History And His Significance.
His name’s Hawk and his game is being one bad mutha… well you know the rest.
What better time than Black History Month to celebrate one of the coolest black men in the history of fiction? Hawk was private detective Spenser’s loyal friend and occasional partner\muscle. Did you read that right? Hawk was a PARTNER nowhere near a SIDEKICK for those in the back. What made this character so indelible was that here was a Black man on a predominantly white show and he was anything but subservient or what we call a “token”. Hawk was loyal to Spenser and had his back 100 percent but it was mutual because Spensahhh would do the same for him.
But Hawk also had his own interests to take care of and most certainly wasn’t gonna get caught up too much in Spenser’s troubles to where his own life was at stake, and certainly not for free. At the same time Spenser and Hawk were a dynamic duo and both could hold their own with each other and serve up bad guys as effectively as the other.
Hawk was a contradiction in many ways. He was firmly from the streets, as hip and cool as he was dangerous, and was a straight brutal brawler but was also extremely articulate, intelligent, and had an impeccable fashion sense. He deeply proud in his blackness and wouldn’t stand for racial nonsense that certain fools wanted to spout out to him. The way he carried himself and dressed represented his pride and I have a feeling half the budget for the whole production was for Hawk’s outfits alone. Nobody on television has ever matched or beat Hawk’s dress game, his outfits and accessories were simply fire! When I grow up I strive to come close to dressing like Hawk. It’s no wonder the show got cancelled after only 3 seasons. Shooting in Boston on location every week plus Hawk’s debonair duds had to cost a fortune… Still pissed we lost such a great show and such an iconic pairing in Robert Urich and Avery Brooks.
You know how some actors were just born to play a certain role? Avery Brooks had to have been created by God just to play Hawk. When the Spenser novels written by Robert B. Parker were adapted to Spenser For Hire, Mr. Parker himself was astonished that Brooks not only met his expectations for the character he created but exceeded them. He was even more Hawk than the book character was. All the character’s little nuances, ticks, cadences etc. was pure Brooks, never could a writer ever come up with those and put them in a script. True sign of an actor that just completely lived in their character. And when he got his own short lived spin off A Man Called Hawk, Brooks managed to add more layers and nuances to his iconic character who we got to know a little bit better, like his interest in African art, musical prowess and even family members that didn’t seem to exist prior.
Hawk was even deadlier, smarter and cooler than wither Shaft and Blade and it that’s no mean feat. I have a theory that Wesley Snipes might have been a fan of Spenser For Hire\A Man Called Hawk and possibly fashioned his live adaptation of Blade on the Hawk man. While Avery Brooks would become even more known for Captain Benjamin Sisko on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and was fantastic in that role, the character I’ll always love him for best and the character that he was most born to play was Hawk. “Ya dig? Affirmative.” Now, there’s no way I could get into all the things that make Hawk iconic but this great video showing the best of Hawk could do a better job than I ever could. Enjoy.
Take care, folks. And just in case you forget whose the baddest brother around his name is Hawk!