Billie Holiday statue rededicated in Baltimore

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore statue of Billie Holiday now bears images evoking the anti-racism message of a song recorded by the jazz icon in the 1930s, just as the sculptor intended.

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore statue of Billie Holiday now bears images evoking the anti-racism message of a song recorded by the jazz icon in the 1930s, just as the sculptor intended. Two panels at the statue’s base — one of a lynched man and another of a newborn baby — were part of the design but weren’t included when the piece was erected in 1985 in a West Baltimore neighborhood. At a re-dedication ceremony Friday on the 50th anniversary of Holiday’s death, Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon said people should view the statue and the panels as a depiction of "raw" history. Holiday, who lived in Baltimore as a child, recorded "Strange Fruit," a jazz ballad condemning lynchings of Blacks. It was considered one of the first anti-racism songs in American popular music. ______ In photo: People take photos of a statue of iconic jazz vocalist Billie Holiday during a re-dedication ceremony of the statue marking the 50th anniversary of the singer’s death, Friday, July 17, 2009, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Rob Carr) Copyright 2009 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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