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Live From the Reading Room: Ada "Bricktop" Smith to Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong

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Live from the Reading Room: Correspondence is a podcast series that aims to share interesting and engaging letters written by or to key historical figures from the African Diaspora. Each episode highlights a letter from popular collections housed in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

Today’s episode features a letter from jazz singer, dancer, and nightclub owner Ada “Bricktop” Smith, jazz trumpeter, composer, singer, and "auto-archivist" Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong.

The Moving Image and Recorded Sound Division holds public-service copies of both commercial and archival recordings featuring Ada "Bricktop" Smith including: "Funny That Way," "Embraceable You," and " Can't We Be Friends." For more information about these and other items, please contact schomburgaudiovisual@nypl.org.

Ada "Bricktop" Smith Portrait Collection, Box 1, Photographs and Prints Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

Today’s correspondence is recited by Isissa Komada-John, Exhibitions Manager, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.

*Special Note: All text is represented as originally written by the correspondent.  

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Bricktop

I have always admired this woman, Bricktop, and would like to read about her life. Is there a book about her life that I can get to read about this incredible human being? Thank you, Diane Hunter, Tampa, Florida

She is most certainly a

She is most certainly a fascinating figure! Bricktop's Paris : African American women in Paris between the two World Wars should be a great read if you are interested in learning more about her!

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