Billie Holiday

Daisy R

Biography...

On April 7, 1915 in Philadelphia, Eleanor Fagan was born, the daughter of Sarah Julia Fagan and Clarence Holiday,an unmarried teenaged couple. Her father did not live with her mother. Not long after Holiday's birth, Clarence abandoned his family to pursue a career as a jazz banjo player and guitarist. Holiday had a difficult childhood. Her mother mostly took what were then known as "transportation jobs", serving on passenger railroads. Holiday was left to be raised largely by Sadie's older married half sister Eva Miller's, mother-in-law, Martha Miller often took care of her.

Accomplishments...

She overcame the challenges of poverty stricken childhood to become one of the nation's most female African American jazz musicians. During the 1930's and 40's, she asserted her talents to raise the social and political consciousness of black society, specifically with her protests against domestic violence and lynching practices across the south. She was also the first female to sing the famous song, Strange Fruit.

Impact on Society...

The singer, had the impact of changing the way African Americans thought of music during the 1920s-1930s time period. Gracing the troubled society with her beautiful voice. She gave a definition to music that people during those time periods could relate to, giving African Americans a voice.

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