Before we can speak about what Billie holidays vs The United States means we have to know what was going on. We are talking about the 1930s where racism was very prudent. There were white people in power with very foggy views and black voices were very suppressed. In 1939 Billie Holidays recorded a song called “Strange Fruit”, Written in response to the lynching of Black Americans in the Jim Crow era, the composition resonated with the movement for civil rights, and therefore threatened those in positions of power (Gonzales, 2021). The government decided they had to do something to keep her quiet and keep the song from gaining momentum. They started an investigation on the singer and soon found out she was a recreational drug user. This was the way they could arrest her and keep her off the street and stage. She was arrested many times for having very small amounts of drugs and some officers later said that drugs were even planted on her just to have her arrested.
Billie was also set up by her husband at the time, who started working with the police to have her arrested. I feel like Billie felt it was the whole United States behind her, because it looked like everyone was after her, The government, the police, the rich and even her husband. Even in her last days alive she was arrested and left in bed going through withdrawals until she eventually passed away. I could definitely see how it was everyone (United States) vs Billie Holiday.
Gonzales, E. (2021, November 2). ‘The United States vs. Billie Holiday’: What really happened. Harper’s BAZAAR. Retrieved March 13, 2022, from https://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/film-tv/a35639408/united-states-billie-holiday-true-story/
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