Bessie Smith's The Empresses Of The Blues

Improved Essays
Living life to the fullest and looking forward,we all strive to be this person. Bessie Smith made this her life motto and lived it well. Facing hardships and tragedies Bessie Smith still made it in a world against her race and her gender. She spoke for a generation of women about love and loss and what it meant to be an early 1900’s African American woman. The Empresses of the Blues remains a legend today, her lyrics still empower and speak to the women of this time, her message living on. Bessie Smith showed that we must not let tragedies and grievances hold us back from our dreams, a message still prevalent today. Growing up with poverty, death and oppression, Bessie Smith’s story resonated with many young African Americans in the early …show more content…
Moving through her troubled childhood and the struggle to become a somebody in the world of blue’s music. Her hard work paid off and Smith “...became the highest paid black entertainer of the day, heading her own shows, which sometimes featured as many as 40 troupers, and touring in her own railroad car.” (Notable Biographies). This type of success was a huge help to her career as a musician, allowing her to travel when and where ever to perform her music. Her music was not the only thing that had taken off, she fell in love and married Jack Gee. Life began to complicate her relationship with Jack as seen in her song “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. Bessie and Jack each had affairs throughout the course of their relationship, that being only one of the problems in their relationship. “Gee...never adjusted to show business life, or to Smith's bisexuality.” (Notable Biographies). Her relationship from that point on only went downhill but Smith didn’t let her failed relationship hurt her, instead she transformed her heartbreak into music that was widely received nationwide. She became a wild woman who loved to have fun and “had no time to marry, no time to settle down.” This was seen in songs such as “‘T Ain’t Nobody’s Bizness If I Do” and “You’ve Got To Give Me Some”. She continued to sing and follow her dreams despite the loss of her lover displaying her perseverance through tough times.

Through tough times in her childhood of death and poverty to the heartbreak of her failed relationship with her husband, Bessie Smith never let these things get in the way of following her dreams. She continues to speak for the African American women of the early 1900’s and today through her powerful music and messages. A woman worthy of the title, The Empress of

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    There was also a significant amount of historical context that aided to her successfulness. Morrison, being and black woman, often wrote about the African-American experience in its many forms and eras, leading her to become a prominent figure in literature. Toni Morrison's life influenced her literature incomparably. As a kid she learned many…

    • 1451 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Skeeter In The Help

    • 666 Words
    • 3 Pages

    After the many stories and influences Skeeter was able to publish her book. This book created awareness throughout Jackson, Mississippi and began to make change in the black civil rights. I thought Skeeter was a very determined lady to seek the truth of the lives of the black maids to be influenced to write a book to express their…

    • 666 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She faced childhood trauma and received negative influences from her father that caused her to want to stay single (Apatow). Also, her character is work driven as seen by her trying throughout the film to write a good story for her editor so she can receive a promotion. Shumer’s character is given depth and drive that is geared not only towards her romantic life but her platonic and professional lives as well. However, in the two examples of movies with black women, neither of them are given any reasons as to why their love lives are the way they are. The audience is supposed to accept this and continue to watch as she mindlessly falls in love with the first man to tell her what she needed to…

    • 2355 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Becoming Successful

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Even though Angelou had horrible childhood memories, she managed to stay positive and dedicated herself to poetry and speech. “She worked everyday..she re-wrote and edited and did not wait for things to happen, she made things happen!” (Avery, “What make Maya Angelou become successful”). Angelou work hard to make her dream comes true. She take the advantage of the opportunities by writing poems and stories. Though she’s a black female and from a poor family she still study hard.…

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Nikki Giovanni truly wants the best for everyone. She is strong independent black woman who deserves to be honored for every thing she has done. Nikki Giovanni is currently a permanent teacher at Virgin Tech. Every piece of her poetry is held at the Mugar…

    • 1403 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    While we can do more to record their stories, it isn’t the only issue to be addressed. What’s most important is understanding the impact of their work and actions. Although women were not given an equal platform they were just as powerful. Women like Eslanda Robeson, Amy Jacques Garvey and Shirley Graham Du Bois greatly contributed to the black freedom struggle and provided a new platform for future women to pursue. These women wanted equal rights for black people but they would soon become an inspiration for women’s rights activists as well.…

    • 1236 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    According to Angelou, the African American family was almost always held together entirely by the woman. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969) became a great inspiration to black feminists, especially since the experiences of black women have been so different from those of white women. The poem “Still I Rise” is written specifically with a feminine voice. It gives praise to the black woman's courage, identity, and self-worth. It recognizes the pain and hardships she has had to overcome and her emergence as a force to be reckoned with.…

    • 963 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    She believed that she will still follow under her own rules and work a job which was uncommon during that time (Authors Online). Mrs. Giovanni was an interesting character with her “I create my own rules attitude” that defined her and made her such a great role model for young African American women and girls at the time and shows that she lived her American dream and made others pursue their…

    • 1097 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Maya Angelou’s poem, “Still I Rise,” explores the strength that everyone posses’ to stand up against discrimination. This poem sets a positive and strong tone on fighting against racial and sexual discrimination. Angelou’s personal experiences during her lifetime are expressed throughout the poem from the point of view of an African American woman like herself. Maya Angelou is an African American women who was born in 1928. She was born into a period of strong racism within the United States.…

    • 434 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Tad R. Dimmitt Harriet Tubman’s Journey “She freed a thousand of slaves. She could have freed a thousand more, if only they knew they were slaves,” this was one of Harriet’s most well known quotes (Biography.com). Harriet Tubman had to overcome many obstacles in her early, middle, and late life. She was a hardworking and brave African American. Nothing would stop Harriet from her success.…

    • 1402 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays