Hello hello and happy Wednesday! It’s June, and that means it’s both African-American Music Appreciation Month as well as LGBT Pride Month. Bringing those two things together, we’ll spend Wednesdays this month appreciating music by LGBTQ African Americans.
Let’s start out this week with a celebration of queer women blues singers. Hat tip to Lesbian News for the inspo.
“Mother of the Blues” Ma Rainey on Wikipedia. ‘Prove It on Me Blues’ is famous for its lesbian references.
Eventually becoming the highest-paid black entertainer of her day, Bessie Smith worked with Ma Rainey early in her career.
Gladys Bentley was a brazen gender-bender who performed with drag queens in Harlem of the 30s.