African Americans on Postage Stamps

Bessie Smith

Jazz Singer

29-cent Bessie Smith stamp
The Bessie Smith stamp was issued September 17, 1994.

Bessie Smith, known as the “empress of the blues,” reigned in the 1920s across the United States and Europe. Her expansive range brought blues music to new audiences of all backgrounds. She made more than a hundred recordings, both of blues and popular songs, paving the way for future blues singers and jazz musicians.

The Black Experience

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