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The great soprano, Sissieretta (Joyner) Jones (1868-1933), also known as the “Black Patti,” called Providence, Rhode Island, home for most of her life. Although she was born in Portsmouth, Virginia, she moved to Providence with her family in 1876 when she was eight years old. In the course of her 28-year career, she performed all across America as well as in Canada, South and Central America, the West Indies and Europe. During those years, she always returned to Providence. She retired to her home on Providence’s east side in 1915 and lived there until her death in 1933.

Rhode Island is proud of Sissieretta Jones and her accomplishments. She was inducted into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame in the spring of 2013 and in 2012 the Rhode Island Black Heritage Society erected a plaque near her home place in Providence to honor her.

This month, the online review of Rhode Island History, smallstatebighistory.com, published a feature about Sissieretta’s life and her Providence connections. My thanks to editor and publisher Christian McBurney for helping to share Sissieretta’s accomplishments and keep her memory alive. The article, published July 7, 2016, can be found by clicking this link: smallstatebighistory.com/sissieretta-jones-providences-famous-soprano/

July 19, 2016

Maureen D. Lee,

author of Sissieretta Jones, “The Greatest Singer of Her Race,” 1868-1933, published in 2012 by the University of South Carolina Press, Columbia, SC.

Photo Credit: Brander Matthews Dramatic Museum Portrait Collection Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University.