5 Reasons Why Bessie Was the Baddest Bitch of the 1920s

The ‘Bessie’ biopic premiered on HBO Saturday and it definitely is a must-see. Seriously, if you have HBO GO, go and watch that thang. Now, I’m going to be honest, I didn’t’t know much about Bessie Smith prior to watching the flick, other than the fact that she was a musical icon in the day. But who knew she was such a bad ass? And claps for Queen Dana Owens Latifah for embodying Smith in this iconic role, freed areolas and all.

So, Bessie was not the one to mess with. It felt like half of the movie was her letting everyone know how things were going to go. In the words of the colorful woman I met on the train who yelled at the entire subway car from Flatbush to Times Square, “these bitches think they running me, but I’m running them ALL. MUAHAHAHAHA.”

Anywho, here are five moments from the movie that knocked my socks off. Disclaimer, there are well over five moments, but you’re going to have to watch the movie to witness it all.

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1. She put a smackdown on anyone who disrespected her.

When a sleaze ball gets grabby, strike one is in order. But when he calls you a fat bitch, game over. Unfortunately this vengeful encounter landed Bessie in the hospital with major knife wounds, but it was obviously worth it. NO REGRETS?

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2. She’s always on *top*

Now when Richard, played by Mike Epps, popped on screen, I thought, “Oh my gosh, it’s Uncle Buck.” Then things got a little thirty. Yes, there was an attraction between Richard and Bessie, but she was taken, so nothing was going to happen with them… right? WRONG. Bessie gets what she wants, and can ya blame her? She’s a queen for godsakes.

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3. Her one liners are everything!

Throughout the movie, plenty of men tell Bessie what they think she should do, how they think she should act, and where they think her career should be going. But can anyone really tell Bessie how to live? Hell nawh. This has got to be one of the best lines of the movie.

“I can give it as hard as I can take it, and I don’t mind going to jail.”

Another great quote she made when her husband got mad after she bought a house:

“I ain’t see your name on my bank book.”

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4. She stopped the KKK’s foolery

Bessie was there having a good time, singing and whatnot. Then here comes the Ku Klux Klan practicing their racism and whatnot. Fire, guns, axes. They were ready for a fight. Pff, they *thought* they were ready, but Bessie doesn’t roll like that. One kick and she had they running away scared. Fools.

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5. She will throw a drink in a stranger’s face if she has to.

*Cue scene* Hey Bessie, I was thinking of a writing a book called, “N*gger Heaven.” What do you think? *throws drink in guy’s face* Come on, dude. Are you out of your mind or nah?

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