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Share link: Billie. This article was written by Timeshifter. See also: Influential black cannabis users.
Billie Holiday 1947 Downbeat club in New York City

Billie Holiday in 1947 at the Downbeat club, a jazz club in New York City. [29].

Billie Holiday 1957 b

1957.

Strange Fruit is still a song for today. The Guardian. "On the last day of 1999, Time magazine selected Strange Fruit as its choice for the best song of the passing century. ... Released in 1939, the record eventually sold over a million copies and became one of the most influential songs of all time."

2015 is the 100th year of her birth. See BillieHoliday.com: timeline, and Billie at 100. See Wikipedia: Billie Holiday.

  • April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959. Like many musicians of her time Billie Holiday used marijuana and other drugs, and suffered due to the growing drug war. Times are worse today in some ways. See Jim Crow, and search for info on the drug war and modern-day Jim Crow. See: Race, ethnicity, and the drug war.
2015. 70th anniversary: Victory over fascism in WW2. 35th year: Reagan's cannabis war. Today, Republicans often block cannabis legislation state by state (except low-THC bills). U.S. federal narcotic law enforcement began in 1915. 1915 was also the year of Billie Holiday's birth. 2. The movie, "The Birth of a Nation," came out in 1915. Originally called The Clansman. First blockbuster movie. Roots of hate radio, Fox News, Nixon's racist Southern Strategy, and racist drug war.
Billie Holiday Strange Fruit

Billie Holiday Strange Fruit

"To Anslinger, this [jazz] was musical anarchy, and evidence of a recurrence of the primitive impulses that lurk in black people, waiting to emerge. 'It sounded,' his internal memos said, 'like the jungles in the dead of night.' Another memo warned that 'unbelievably ancient indecent rites of the East Indies are resurrected' in this black man’s music.' ... 'Please prepare all cases in your jurisdiction involving musicians in violation of the marijuana laws. We will have a great national round-up arrest of all such persons on a single day.' ... But when Harry came for them, the jazz world would have one weapon that saved them: its absolute solidarity."
YouTube link [195]. Billie Holiday singing Strange Fruit. See lyrics in the Youtube description, or here.


Billie Holiday on the drug war

Full quote:
"Imagine if the government chased sick people with diabetes, put a tax on insulin and drove it into the black market, told doctors they couldn’t treat them, and then caught them, prosecuted them for not paying their taxes, and then sent them to jail. If we did that, everyone would know we were crazy. Yet we do practically the same thing every day in the week to sick people hooked on drugs. The jails are full and the problem is getting worse every day." -- Billie Holiday, from chapter 17 of her 1956 autobiography, Lady Sings the Blues.

At the famous Café Society in New York City, "everyone in that group smoked pot," remembered trumpeter Doc Cheatham. "They had a little room off the bandstand and some, including Mary Lou [Williams] and Billie [Holiday], would smoke pot in there. They would put me outside the door in a chair smoking a pipe that would cover the fumes of the pot."
  • Wikipedia: Café Society. The first racially integrated night club in the United States. Advertised as "The Wrong Place for the Right People." The club also prided itself on treating black and white customers equally, unlike many venues, such as the Cotton Club, that featured black performers but barred black customers except for prominent blacks in the entertainment industry. The club featured many of the greatest black musicians of the day, from a wide range of backgrounds, often presented with a strongly political bent.

Billie Holiday photos:

  • Billie Holiday
  • Billie Holiday 1937 Flash magazine

    1937

  • Billie Holiday 1937

    1937

  • Billie Holiday 2
  • Billie Holiday 3
  • Billie Holiday 4
  • Billie Holiday 1957

    1957

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