Excerpt from a Blues Woman’s Diary: Ada Smith

March 15, 1922
I figured I would write a little record of my journey, since I plan on leaving Columbus, Georgia. My name is Ruth Smith but I want my stage name to be Ada Smith. I always liked that name better. I wanna see the world and sing for people. I wanna be a great Blues Singer. I know I got the voice and the talent. All I need is a chance to show people. Because I have a lot to show. I told Momma today that I’m tired of cleaning and fixing up white folks houses. We work from early in the morning to late at night and I’m tired of it. I wanna be the one they pay to see on a big stage with a live band behind me. But she don’t pay me no mind. We have to sneak food out those white folks houses, just to put food on the table. Even though we are “raiding the pantries” (Jones, 2010, p. 128), Momma calls it “early pay.” But for fun, I go to the Green Shack to perform, hoping someone will find me and take me out of here.
I told my momma I gotta go
I told my sista I gotta go
I told my friends I gotta go
I gotta get outta here
They say hush up now
Hush up, Sally
You aint goin nowhere