Netflix will soon be releasing a film that features a Columbus Native that many call the Mother of the Blues.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom is one of Netflix’s new films to be released this year which will feature award winning actors like Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman.
“The Black Bottom came about it was a song that Ma Rainey wrote. It’s actually a dance and Ma Rainey talks about she comes to Alabamy and this person named Sammy and they’re going to a club and they’re gonna do the black bottom,” Ma Rainey House director Florene Dawkins said.
Ma Rainey was born here in Columbus and from a young age her parents knew she was a showstopper. She got her start performing in her local church and in front of segregated crowds at the Springer Opera Theatre. Dawkins says from there her career skyrocketed.
“These were billboards that were put up in cities. The famous minstrel show, “50 colored stars,” “darkie beauty chorus,” that’s how they were portrayed back then as the Darkie Beauty Chorus,” Dawkins said.
Black Bottom was one of Ma Rainey’s most popular songs that was released in the the 1920s. In the 80’s, it was turned into a play that focuses on her struggles singing the Blues as a Black performer traveling throughout the US.
“It was just amazing to see an African woman coming into her own and being recognized all over the country. Ma Rainey is recognized all over the world. 1994, when we were renovated the house BB King came, Keb Mo came Bonnie Ray. She’s immolated and admired all over the world,” Dawkins said.
Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom will be released on Netflix December 18th.