Black History Month Spotlight: Bessie Smith

Black History Month Spotlight: Bessie Smith

Raine Jeff


In honor of Black History Month, Glasgow Students celebrate people who have impacted the world in which we live.  Spotlight #2 is Bessie Smith.

Elizabeth Smith was an actress, singer, and dancer during the time of the Harlem Renaissance,  known for her Blues singing. Her career lasted only ten years, but her name went down in history. One of her biggest hits, ‘Down Hearted Blues’ (recorded in 1923), was very popular and sold around 800,000 copies. At one point, Bessie Smith was the highest-paid African-American in the world! In 1989 she was put into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her music changed Blues forever and showed the world that anyone can make good music, regardless of their race or gender.

Bessie Smith is important to our Glasgow community even today. She may have lived years before our time, but her legacy shall be remembered forever. Her music speaks to Glasgow students today and will keep doing so far into the future. Bessie Smith’s music inspires our very own band, chorus, strings students because her music and voice are rich and full of power. She is truly an inspiration to everyone.


Down Hearted Blues: