Black Pearls is an anthology of black women singers who made major contributions to American music. The word anthology derives from the Greek language meaning gathering of flowers. In this collection, Josephine Qualls has described the evolution of Jazz music and its' related musical forms as embodied in the careers of these women ranging from Bessie Smith through Ma Rainey, Memphis Minnie, Pearl Bailey, Ethel Waters, Aretha Franklin, Mahalia Jackson (mother of pearls) and many others. Also included are descriptions of several early venues in which black women developed their talents. The musical art forms of Jazz, Blues, Gospel, Ragtime and Dixieland highlights the descriptions of the births, early years and lifelong careers of these African/American women. Spanning the years from 1895 to the present, this is an engaging and informative book leaving the reader fascinated by the amazing variety in this collection of flowers. Black Pearls belongs in the library of any fan or historian of African/American music.