- Eric Gardner
Jones, Sissieretta (05 January 1868–24 June 1933), singer, was born Matilda Sissieretta Joyner in Portsmouth, Virginia, the daughter of Jeremiah Malachi Joyner and Henrietta Beale Joyner, former slaves, church activists, and amateur musicians. Jones attended a school for freedmen's children in Portsmouth and showed great vocal talent. A probably apocryphal story says that a couple from Providence, Rhode Island, upon hearing Jones, offered her father a job. Regardless of the truth of this story, in 1876 the Joyner family did move to Providence, where Jones continued to attend school and sing in area churches....