Affirm Black Women Portrait Series: Bessie Smith “Empress of Blues"
Bessie Smith, known as the “Empress of Blues” didn’t want a microphone either. Her emotionally raw and powerful voice was all she needed to sing about everything from poverty to female sexual desire. And Bessie suffered no fools. When the KKK tried to run her tent show out of town she shook her fist and roared, “pick up them sheets and run!” They skedaddled and she sang on.