Billie Holiday Research Paper

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Billie Holiday was considered the “voice of jazz” of her generation and her style has remained poignant as she developed her own unique way of controlling phrasing and tempo. Her voice technique was never considered anywhere near perfect, but it was rather the way she conveyed emotions in her songs that truly moved people, as she made songs her own. As Holiday said, “I hate straight singing. I have to change a tune to my own way of doing it. That’s all I know.” She came from a background of intense struggle that shaped her, but above all she had an innate talent. Notably, her interpretation of “Strange Fruit” against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance and the culture of racism in the United States made Billie an integral part of American history. Billie’s alteration of her past life is also important as she wanted to expose her life in a perfected manner. In…show more content…
However in Harlem there were still many problems highlighted in the 1931 report of Negro Housing, including a syphilis rate nine times high that that of white Manhattan’s, and high tuberculosis, pneumonia and typhoid rates and by 1932 the median family income in Harlem dropped 43.6 percent. By the time Holiday became famous in 1935, the renaissance had slumped because of the misguided belief that as Arthur Fauset asserted “that social and economic recognition will be inevitable when once the race has produced a sufficiently large number of persons who have properly qualified themselves in the arts.” By then, Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration had become the major patron of African-American Artists and writers. Even though the Renaissance did not achieve a complete change in the view of blacks, it still left an impressive arts and letters legacy that Holiday was integral

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