Monday, April 18, 2016

AS IF BILLIE HOLIDAY TOLD US HER OWN STORY IN HER OWN WORDS




A white woman from Venice Beach who used to volunteer at a facility for people trying to kick their addiction of choice introduced me to the idea that drug users might be more sensitive to some of life's day to day pains than other people. I won't tell you how much I do or don't believe this because I don't know. Ten years later I'm still considering it. But I do know that some people "use" drugs. I've believed for a long time that poor people, in particular, aren't partying. They are escaping. They are using drugs to escape whatever needs escaping.

As most black people were both poor and black and suffering racism I've never seen back in the day, I've always wondered about Billie Holiday's drug use. I've often thought about how she must have suffered after seeing the terrifying "strange fruit" swinging from trees while she was touring the country. 


I'm still wondering after hearing Billie Holiday tell her own story through Audra McDonald. But now I realize that Eleanora Billie Holliday Fagan had already been through way too much by the time she saw what was left a person after he'd been lynched. 

She seems like she was very tough and very fragile at the same time. 

I would have loved to have seen "LADY DAY AT EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL" on Broadway. But it was pretty good on HBO. And that's without me being the biggest fan of her actual songs.


This Broadway Play being on HBO is such an opportunity to get a little black history on the cheap. I hope you'll use some of your quiet time one weekend to see it.





I tend to think Sunday afternoons are perfect for this sort of thing.  










Lady Day At Emerson's Bar and Grill is on HBO in this Spring of 2016.

 

If you don't have cable, you can pay $15 and get "HBO NOW" via the internet. You'll see Billy Day's story and see a bunch of HBO movies besides for 30 days. You could catch up on 5 years worth of Game of Thrones.

Click the icon here to check it out.



And if you haven't signed up for HBO NOW before, sometimes you can get 30 days of HBO NOW for free at Amazon.com.