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WASHINGTON, DC — Six surviving members of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, America’s first all-female integrated jazz band — were honored by the Smithsonian Institution in ceremonies and events this week.

In this exclusive video for NewsOne, Radio One founder Cathy Hughes (who is the daughter of original Sweethearts band member Helen Jones Woods) discusses the legacy of these “freedom riders and freedom fighters,” and even reveals that Beyoncé found inspiration in their example:


First female interracial band celebrated at Smithsonian