African American Women and Feminists of the 1920's

1031 Words Jan 28th, 2018 4 Pages
Generally, the blues was sung by African American women because according to the book entitled, “Blues Legacies and Black Feminism” by Angela Davis, “…The most widely heard individual purveyors of the blues—were women.” (Davis 4) The blues delivers certain emotions such as sadness, loneliness, love, sex, and feelings about the certain circumstances the artist may be going through at the time. Two women who dominate this style of music are Gertrude “Ma” Rainey and Bessie Smith. As stated by “Gay & Lesbian Biography”, “The careers of Rainey and Smith are closely interwoven.” Ma Rainey is a woman who is admired for both her amazing vocals and her ability to entertain. Bessie Smith is a woman who started off as a background dancer for her peer Ma Rainey, but then went on to emulate her by outdoing her success. Both women are very talented musicians who can not only sing and entertain, but they also create an impact as two of the most influential feminists during the 1920’s who helped shape the blues into what it is today. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “Feminism is the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.” Today there are millions of feminists, compared to the 1900's, where feminism was very seldom. During the early 1900’s, slavery and the domestication of women (no matter what race they were), was very common. Beginning in…
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