Was Bessie Smith a Feminist?

Posted: September 6, 2011 in Bessie Smith, David Suisman, Early Blues, Female Blues

Author : David Suisman

Source  : Souls, Winter 1999, University of Delaware


“The blues has always been about secrets. From the beginning, blues singers confided about conjure women, backdoor men, and the mysteries of human behavior. When a singer moaned “I mistreated my baby, and I can’t see no reason why”, it rang like a bewildered confession, a secret not even the singer understood.  In blues lore, secrets followed blues singers like shadows, and it never mattered whether the story about the Faustian midnight bargain was truth or promotional hokum. Either way, it imbued the music with a persuasive clandestine authority.”




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