Date

4-30-2020

Description

Billie Holiday is famous as a singer due to her contributions to the jazz genre; yet she was also known as an abuser of drugs and alcohol, and for part of her life, a prostitute. Was it the rapid rise to fame that caused such habits? Or was there some aspect of Holiday's childhood that may have influenced her habits in adulthood? This project investigated crimes in East Baltimore in 1929 through 1931 to quantify what kinds of illegal activities Billie Holiday would have been exposed to during her youth, and how women could have been the victims of police profiling. Other sources, such as the 1916 Vice Commissioner's report on prostitution and the 2012 Landmark Designation Report were also used to specifically analyze how prostitution and schooling may have directly affected the minority youth, particularly the females. These different sources collectively provide a glimpse of the answer to how racial, gender, and economic inequality affected the youth minorities of Baltimore around 1930, effectively presenting Billie Holiday's experiences as the standard, rather than the anomaly.

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Apr 30th, 12:00 AM

Billie Holiday's Baltimore: A City of Enforcement

Billie Holiday is famous as a singer due to her contributions to the jazz genre; yet she was also known as an abuser of drugs and alcohol, and for part of her life, a prostitute. Was it the rapid rise to fame that caused such habits? Or was there some aspect of Holiday's childhood that may have influenced her habits in adulthood? This project investigated crimes in East Baltimore in 1929 through 1931 to quantify what kinds of illegal activities Billie Holiday would have been exposed to during her youth, and how women could have been the victims of police profiling. Other sources, such as the 1916 Vice Commissioner's report on prostitution and the 2012 Landmark Designation Report were also used to specifically analyze how prostitution and schooling may have directly affected the minority youth, particularly the females. These different sources collectively provide a glimpse of the answer to how racial, gender, and economic inequality affected the youth minorities of Baltimore around 1930, effectively presenting Billie Holiday's experiences as the standard, rather than the anomaly.