Before Stonewall added to 2019 National Film Registry
December 13, 2019

Helen Jones Woods, Member of an All-Female Jazz Group, Dies at 96

Helen Jones Woods was an African-American jazz musician who toured the country, including the Jim Crow South, in the 1930s and ’40s. This could be the start of a familiar story of racism on the road. But Ms. Woods’s journey has some distinctive wrinkles.

Ms. Woods played trombone in the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, an all-female, multiracial ensemble so anomalous that the white members had to wear blackface in the South to avoid trouble.

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